Columbia Hostage Release
Members of the Brazilian army force, Red Cross delegate and Colombian soldiers and police officials freed by Farc rebels pose for pictures at Villavicencio's airport on 2 April, 2012. Reuters

Columbia's left rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), have freed the last 10 police and military hostages held for 12 years.

The captives were flown to safety by a Brazilian military helicopter and were welcomed by their relatives at the city of Villavicencio.

Later the freed security personnel were taken to the capital Bogota after medical checks were conducted on them by the Red Cross.

The release of the hostages was the result of mediation by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a group of Colombian mediators led by former senator Piedad Cordoba, the BBC reported.

Farc has been in conflict with the Columbian government for the last 50 years and the group began capturing soldiers in 1996 demanding prisoner exchange.

For years, kidnapping for ransom and drug trafficking have been part of the conflict strategy of Farc. But of late they have been losing their key commanders to the fighting and condemnation of the practices of the group has been mounting internationally.

"Welcome to liberty, soldiers and policemen of Colombia," the BBC quoted President Juan Manuel Santos as saying.

"Freedom has been very delayed but now it is yours, to the delight of the whole country," he added indicating that the gesture by Farc is not enough as many more civilians are believed to be held by the rebel group.

"The country and the world demand the release of all the hostages," Santos said.