The International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, announced Wednesday that French war correspondent Romeo Langlois was released by the FARC guerrillas, left the village of San Isidro with the humanitarian mission that took custody of him and is en route to Florencia, the capital of Colombia's southern Caqueta province.

ICRC spokesperson in Colombia Maria Cristina Rivera confirmed the reporter's release to the press at the Gustavo Urtunduaga Paredes airport in Florencia, where authorities and others are awaiting in the coming hours the arrival of Langlois and the humanitarian mission that received him.

Although the handing over of Langlois to the mission took place several hours ago in San Isidro, where the FARC staged a political event, the ICRC said that it only considered that the journalist had been released at the moment he got into an ICRC vehicle and began the trip to Florencia.

The reporter, for whom Wednesday was his 33rd day in FARC captivity, will arrive in Florencia with the members of the humanitarian mission in three vehicles between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (0300 to 0330 GMT on Thursday), according to Rivera's estimate.

From Florencia he will travel to Bogota, where on Thursday he is scheduled to hold a press conference.

The committee that received Langlois is made up of three ICRC representatives, former Colombian Sen. Piedad Cordoba and two other members of the organization she heads Colombians for Peace (CCP) and French government emissary Jean-Baptiste Chauvin.

"Although he is wounded in one of his forearms, ... Langlois is in good general health," said Rivera reading from a communique signed by the ICRC chief in Colombia, Spaniard Jordi Raich.

The correspondent for television channel France24 and the daily Le Figaro was accompanying a task force of Colombian police and army troops on April 28 when the contingent was ambushed by FARC units, sparking a battle that left four members of the security forces dead.

The journalist was wounded in the firefight and fled toward the rebel lines, after shedding the army helmet and bulletproof vest he was wearing.

FARC commander "Colacho Mendoza" said in a videotape released on Monday by Telesur that although Langlois had been wounded, he was recovering well, and he added that the war correspondent had turned himself over to the rebels to save his life in the midst of the firefight.

"First, he was wounded in one arm, a bullet that entered by the side of the elbow and exited ... He had lost the ability to move it and ended up surrendering to save his life," said Mendoza.

A FARC medic treated Langlois' wound, but the rebels then decided to hold him as a prisoner of war.

Last Sunday, the FARC announced that they would hand over the reporter to the humanitarian mission on Wednesday somewhere in Caqueta - later specifying the precise coordinates of the site - where military operations were suspended by the government to facilitate the release. EFE