A French journalist went missing following clashes between Colombia’s army and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, over the weekend, it was reported.
“The French journalist was accompanying the army unit in the course of an anti-drug operation when the unit came under attack from FARC forces,” a French official, who was not named, told AFP on Sunday.
The journalist was identified as Romeo Langlois, who was working with France 24 before he disappeared in Caqueta Province.
According to France 24, Langlois was based in Colombia and has worked extensively in covering the country’s drug war.
A police officer and three soldiers were killed in the clashes with FARC in what was described by Colombian officials as “heavy combat,” France 24 reported. Four soldiers were also wounded in the skirmish. The army operation was able to destroy five cocaine manufacturing labs.
The French official told AFP that Colombian officials are conducting a search operation to find the missing journalist.
The FARC, a Marxist-Leninist organization, has fought with the Colombian government for nearly 50 years and is said to still have around 9,000 members. There have been reports that the FARC, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, has been weakened over the years.
However, the group’s leader, Timoleon Jimenez, denied allegations that FARC would surrender.
FARC has been criticized by the United Nations and by human rights groups for attacking civilians and using child soldiers, among other abuses.