Bolivia coca growers release 6 hostages, 3 missing

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Associated Press

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 10:33 PM

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivian authorities say coca growers who oppose President Evo Morales have freed six hostages taken during a weekend clash that killed a soldier, a sailor, a police officer and a civilian doctor working in a coca eradication squad.

Vice Minister of Social Defense Felipe Caceres said Monday that three people remain missing. Caceres says the six released are police officers and soldiers.

Officials reported earlier that 10 other members of the joint military-police team suffered gunshot wounds and 10 were injured by blows in Saturday's attack in a rural area of the remote municipality of Apolo, about 90 miles (55 kilometers) north of La Paz.

It was the first fatal attack on an eradication team since Morales was first elected nearly eight years ago.

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