French reporter captured by Colombian rebels

Colombian officials say a French journalist is missing after a military mission he was covering was attacked by leftist rebels in southern Colombia.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Sunday Romeo Langlois, a reporter for news channel France 24 was taken prisoner during the firefight. He gave no details about who was holding Langlois or where, or whether the hostage-takers were in contact with French or Colombian authorities.

The Colombian Defense Ministry said Langlois was accompanying police and military forces on a mission to dismantle drug laboratories in the jungles of the southern state of Caqueta.

It said three soldiers and a police officer were killed Sunday in the gun battle with the Fuerza Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia rebels. Five soldiers earlier reported missing were later found alive.

The rebels known as FARC have been at war with the Colombian government since the 1960s. Their numbers have dwindled over the years, but some analysts estimate the group has as many as 9,000 fighters.

FARC has been designated as a terrorist organization by Colombia, the United States and the European Union.

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