Colombia's ELN rebel group on Monday released three oil contractors the guerrillas grabbed in September, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

The three captives were handed over in a rural area of the northeastern province of Arauca, bordering on Venezuela, and after being given a medical exam, they were taken to Arauca city, the regional capital, "where they could be reunited with their families," according to a communique from the ICRC.

Also taking part in the release besides the ICRC were representatives of the Catholic Church and the Colombian national ombud's office.

The ICRC did not reveal the names of the three who had been freed, but said that "they had been captured on Sept. 10, 2013 in the municipality of Saravena, also in Arauca province," which coincides with the case of three people working on the Bicentenario pipeline.

On that day, the ELN kidnapped three contractors from the Termo Tecnica company identified as Yesid Francisco Galindo, Nelson Carreño Becerra and the administrator Eber Arnulfo Morera Cabrera.

This year the ICRC has facilitated the freeing of 22 people in the power of armed groups in Colombia.

On Oct. 27, a former U.S. Marine held captive for four months by Colombia's FARC guerrilla group was handed over to a delegation of Red Cross, Cuban and Norwegian officials.

Kevin Scott Sutay, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, was kidnapped on June 20 while hiking in the jungles of southeastern Colombia. EFE