Colombian rebel group FARC has released ten police and military hostages, the last security force group it is believed to have been holding.

The hostages were airlifted by helicopter from a remote jungle location in the south of the country and flown to safety in a humanitarian operation co-ordinated by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

All had been held for more than a decade after being captured during security force operations.

FARC is still thought to be holding hundreds of civilians hostage, although it has promised to stop kidnappings for ransom.

The ten men, visibly weary but smiling, emerged from a Brazilian air force helicopter at the airport in Villavicencio, the capital of Meta department located some 110km south of the capital, Bogota.

"We all were singing in the helicopter, full of emotions," said mediator Piedad Cordoba, a former senator and the head of Colombians for Peace, which worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross on the operation.

On the tarmac, the former hostages, one of whom had a bandage on his head and another draped in a Colombian flag, thanked members of the ICRC for their help and were then handed over to a team of doctors.

After reunions with their families, who were waiting for them in a private room at the airport, the ex-hostages were to be taken to Bogota for thorough medical checks.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the release of the hostages, but urged the guerrillas to go beyond their February pledge to end the practice of kidnapping for ransom.

"We share in the joy of these releases, and we especially appreciate the pledge by the FARC to stop kidnapping," Mr Santos said in a brief televised address.

While he called yesterday's events "a step in the right direction", he added: "As we said when the FARC announced these releases, it is insufficient."

Mr Santos called for the release of all captives and a definitive end to violence.

FARC, founded in 1964, is believed to have about 9,000 fighters in mountainous and jungle areas of Colombia, according to government estimates.

Last week, Colombian troops killed at least 36 suspected FARC rebels and captured four in an army offensive in Meta department, according to officials.