Police say 18 people kidnapped across Colombia


At least 18 people, including a judge and a journalist, were kidnapped today in different locations across Colombia, police said.

Armed men suspected of being leftist rebels kidnapped eight truck drivers working for oil companies in the eastern state of Casanare, police told reporters.

The rebels, believed to be with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) also stole eight cargo trucks and three bulldozers, police said.

Leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary groups often resort to kidnapping wealthy individuals to finance their operations. So far this year, there have been nearly 2,000 reported kidnappings, officials said.

And according to an army report released in early October, 231 foreigners have been kidnapped in Colombia since 1996.