Colombia rebels set date to free French journalist

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The leftist Colombian guerrilla group FARC has said it will free on Wednesday a French journalist taken prisoner nearly a month ago.

"The liberation of French journalist Romeo Langlois will take place next Wednesday May 30," the FARC unit holding him said in a statement posted on an Internet website.

A correspondent for France 24 TV, the 35-year-old Langlois was captured by the FARC during an attack on a Colombian army unit that he had embedded with to film a counter-drug operation.

After declaring Langlois a "prisoner of war," the FARC said in mid-May it was prepared to turn him over to a delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross, a peace group led by former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba and a French envoy.

"The coordinates of the location where Langlois will be freed will be submitted at an opportune time to the humanitarian mission composed of the ICRC, Piedad Cordoba and the French delegate," the FARC statement said.

It said they were still waiting for an agreement on the security protocol for the handover, including "guarantees for their physical integrity."

During previous hostage releases, the security guarantees typically involved a complete of suspension of military operations by the Colombian army in the region.

Founded in 1964, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia is the oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group in the country with some 9,200 fighters. In February, it renounced the practice of kidnappings for ransom.

© 2012 AFP

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