A policeman held hostage by Colombia's FARC rebels has been found alive, the country's defense minister said Saturday, after announcing that the insurgent group had executed four other captives.
Alberto Erazo, who was held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia for 12 years, fled the rebel camp where the dead hostages were found when a firefight between troops and rebels broke out, Juan Carlos Pinzon said.
After hiding in the jungle from rebels in hot pursuit, Erazo made contact with Colombian soldiers at 6:40 pm (2340 GMT).
"When he heard the first shots, he decided to flee," the minister said.
Earlier in the day, four hostages -- three policemen and a soldier -- were found dead in the remote Solano region in the south of the country. President Juan Manuel Santos called the killings a "heinous crime."
Earlier this month, the FARC -- Latin America's longest-running insurgent group -- named a new leader after Alfonso Cano, who had been at the helm since 2008, was gunned down by government forces.