Reporter missing in Colombia firefight

April 29, 2012 at 1:33 PM
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BOGOTA, April 29 (UPI) -- A French reporter was apparently captured by Colombian rebels in a weekend attack that left three soldiers and a police officer dead, security officials said.

Romeo Langlois was covering the army campaign against drug traffickers for FRANCE 24 when he disappeared during a clash between troops and FARC guerrillas in a cocaine-producing area outside Bogota.

A fellow FRANCE 24 correspondent, Simone Bruno, said Sunday the offensive got off to a bad start due to weather delays and had run into stiff resistance.

"Initially, we had very confused information," Bruno said. "In the end, we talked to a general who told us that Romeo was missing at this point and they're still looking for him."

Five other government troops were reported missing in the engagement, which was part of a renewed government thrust against cocaine production. At the same time, the government has been pressing FARC to agree to a cease-fire and release all of its prisoners before sitting down to formal peace talks.

The Wall Street Journal said despite recent government military successes showing signs of a cooling of the situation, FARC remains dangerous and capable of carrying out raids against military units and oil installations in the jungle.

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