Colombia
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended peace talks with the Farc rebels.Reuters

Colombia's Farc rebels have released two soldiers who were taken hostage earlier this month, according to Red Cross officials and the Colombian Ministry of Defence.

The soldiers, named as Paulo Cesar Rivera and Jonathan Andres Diaz, were released after the Colombian government, led by President Juan Manuel Santos, suspended military operations in the area where the soldiers disappeared.

The pair were captured by the rebels in Arauca, near the border with Venezuela before three others, including Colombian army General Ruben Dario Alzate, were kidnapped. They remain in captivity.

Colombian General Alzate is the highest ranking officer to be captured by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the five decades of conflict.

It remains unclear when Alzate will be released by the rebel group, although they had earlier agreed to release the Colombian army general "as soon as possible".

Following the kidnappings, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that his government had suspended peace talks with the rebel group.

Farc is estimated to hold around 8,000 militants who continue to wage the longest-running conflict on the Latin American continent.

In 2012, the rebels said that they would no longer kidnap civilians as part of their insurgency but said that police and soldiers would remain targets as prisoners of war.