Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended peace talks with the South American nation's largest rebel group after an army general was taken captive.

Santos said he ordered peace negotiators who were set to travel Monday to Cuba for the next round of negotiations to stay back until Gen. Ruben Dario Alzate is freed.

The U.S.-education soldier and two others were intercepted Sunday afternoon while traveling by motor boat along a remote river in western Colombia. A fourth soldier managed to flee and reported that the captors were members of the 34th front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Colombian media reports that it's the first time in a half-century of conflict that the rebels have taken an army general captive.