Woman Escapes Colombian Captors; Husband Still Missing

A Colombian woman kidnapped this week along with her Swedish husband escaped following a gunbattle between her captors and police, and was said to be in good health on Sunday.

Diana Patricia Pena, 36, was abducted by armed men May 16 with her husband, 68-year-old Roland Erik Larson, at their farm in northern Colombia. Larson was still missing.

Troops searching for the couple shot dead two of their alleged captors Saturday, Col. Carlos Gustavo Leyva, head of the army's 11th brigade, told The Associated Press.

Pena then escaped and hid in a nearby farm overnight before finding her way to an army post in Tierralta, 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of the capital of Bogota, Leyva said.

She was in good health and working with authorities to help locate her husband, he added. He did not give more details.

Police initially blamed the abduction on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which uses ransom kidnappings to finance its five-decade-old insurgency.

But Sweden's ambassador in Bogota said she had received no confirmation about who was behind the abduction, and Leyva said the military was also looking at other illegal armed groups.

The FARC is believed to holds hundreds of hostages, including three American military contractors and former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, a dual French-Colombian citizen. Those four are among some 60 high-profile hostages being used to negotiate the release of jailed rebels.