Arab Today, arab today presumed farc frenchman is \prisoner of war\
Last Updated : GMT 04:25:46
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Presumed FARC: Frenchman is \'prisoner of war\'

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Arab Today, arab today Presumed FARC: Frenchman is \'prisoner of war\'

Bogota - AFP

A woman claiming to represent FARC leftist rebels said Tuesday in calls to Colombian journalists that the group is holding French journalist Romeo Langlois as a "prisoner of war." Radio broadcaster Caracol said Tuesday that the caller -- whose claim could that she is a member of FARC's Front 15 wing could not be authenticated -- told reporters: "We have the French journalist under our control. We have provided him medical treatment." Because he was accompanying Colombian troops and wearing "military garb" at the time of his capture "we have just declared him to be a prisoner of war," the woman said, according to Radio Caracol. The journalists who received the phone call were on the outskirts of Union Peneya, in Caqueta state, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) from Bogota, near where Langlois was captured during a skirmish with the guerrillas. Colombian officials have said Langlois was shot in the arm during a firefight Saturday between rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the military. Military officials said that after being wounded, Langlois shed his bullet-proof vest and military helmet and surrendered to the rebels, identifying himself as a civilian journalist. Colombia's military, meanwhile, said Tuesday it was continuing flights over the region to try to find the missing Frenchman, but has said it has no intention of trying to rescue him. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Monday there were indeed "very clear signs" that Langlois has been kidnapped by leftist FARC rebels during the weekend gun battle in the jungle. Langlois, a 35-year-old reporter for global television network France 24, was reported missing after Saturday's firefight between security forces and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the south of the country. Santos, speaking to reporters at the presidential palace in Bogota, said there were "very clear signs that the French journalist is in FARC captivity." "I would like to ask the FARC to liberate him as soon as possible, especially as we have learned he was injured," Santos said. "A few weeks ago, (the FARC) promised Colombians and the world that they would stop kidnappings," he said. "Stay true to your word. The FARC alone will be held accountable for anything that happens to this journalist." Four Colombian soldiers were killed and eight others wounded in Saturday's battle. Langlois had been accompanying soldiers who destroyed five cocaine production labs in the area. The last French national held by the FARC was Ingrid Betancourt, a former Colombian senator and presidential candidate. She was abducted during her presidential campaign in February 2002, along with her assistant, Clara Rojas. Betancourt and 14 other hostages -- including three US military contractors -- were freed in an operation by the Colombian military on July 2, 2008.  

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