Three journalists recently captured by Marxist guerillas in remote northern Colombia were released Friday, news reports said.

Spanish journalist Salud Hernandez-Mora was handed over to local priests by the left-wing ELN group, according to a news report by El Tiempo, citing Gabriel Angel Villabaja, the bishop of Ocana in the north of the country.

Reporter Diego D'Pablos and cameraman Carlos Melo, both employees of Colombian TV network RCN who went missing earlier this week, were released hours later. The two men said in an interview with RCN that they had been treated well.

Hernandez-Mora, who writes a column for the El Tiempo in Colombia and also reports for El Mundo in Spain, disappeared last Saturday while visiting an ELN-controlled area for research.

She thanked the Catholic Church for its help in securing her freedom, telling the station Noticias Caracol: "It's been very good to me."

The rebel group, with around 2,000 fighters, is much smaller than the more prominent FARC movement that is negotiating a peace deal with the government.

The ELN is reportedly involved in drug smuggling and extortion, but has said it is also interested in its own peace talks with the authorities.

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