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COLOMBIAN REBELS DENY KIDNAP OF ENGINEER

SHARE COLOMBIAN REBELS DENY KIDNAP OF ENGINEER

The People's Liberation Army of Colombia has denied it kidnapped an American mining engineer and held him for 61 days until a ransom was paid, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

A spokesman for the guerrilla group, in a telephone call to the Bogota newspaper La Prensa, said the group had not kidnapped Scott Heimdal, who was abducted April 28 from a motorized canoe on a river along the Ecuador-Colombia border.Heimdal, 27, Peoria, Ill., was released last Friday by the kidnappers after his parents paid a $60,000 ransom. Ecuador police said the People's Liberation Army of Colombia was responsible for the kidnapping. He was held in Colombian territory until his release.

But Bernardo Gutierrez, spokesman for the guerrillas who have entered into peace talks with the government, denied involvement. Gutierrez said the group freed all of its hostages when the peace talks began.