Red Cross emblem misused in hostage rescue

Colombia misused the symbol of the International Committee of the Red Cross in this month's military rescue of Ingrid Betancourt, the government said today, admitting a possible violation of the rules of war.

"We regret that this occurred," President Alvaro Uribe said in a speech following press reports about the Red Cross emblem possibly being displayed on vests and T-shirts worn by Colombian intelligence officers who carried out the rescue.

Falsely portraying military personnel as Red Cross workers is against the Geneva Conventions, as it could put humanitarian workers at risk as they carry out missions in war zones and undermine the neutrality of the Red Cross.