French reporter probably a hostage in Colombia: minister

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French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Monday that a French reporter had probably been taken hostage by FARC rebels in Colombia after being wounded in a firefight but that Paris was not certain.

"Based on the statements by the Colombian authorities, notably the defence minister (Juan Carlos Pinzon), it is probable" that reporter Romeo Langlois "was kidnapped by the FARC", Juppe said in the French city of Bordeaux, where he is also mayor.

Langlois "was accompanying the Colombian army. It seems he was taken hostage at that time, even if we do not have absolute certainty," Juppe said.

"We are in permanent contact with Colombian authorities to work for his release," he said.

Langlois, a 35-year-old reporter who works for global television network France 24, had been with government troops when a firefight with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) erupted on Saturday.

Officials said Langlois suffered a bullet wound to the arm during the clash in the southern department of Caqueta, in which four security forces were killed and eight wounded.

Colombian officials on Sunday urged FARC rebels, who have been at war with the government since 1964, not to harm the journalist.

© 2012 AFP

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