Luis Diaz's parents' kidnapping: Latest news as major military operation begins


The father of Liverpool star Luis Diaz remains missing and a reward has been offered for his safe return, after both his parents were kidnapped on Saturday evening. Mirror Football has compiled the latest on the situation.

The Reds' star's mother, Cilenis Marulanda, has been rescued following a police chase triggered by the kidnap of the Liverpool star's parents on Saturday afternoon, it's been confirmed. It occurred near their home in the town of Barrancas, in Colombia's Caribbean region.

However, Colombian authorities have not been able to locate his father, despite earlier local reports of a shootout. Police chiefs have spoken to Diaz as they look to keep him abreast of the situation. The player was left out of the Liverpool squad for Sunday's Premier League meeting with Nottingham Forest. The Reds won 3-0 at Anfield and paid tribute to Diaz following Diogo Jota's opening goal.

Colombia's attorney general, Francisco Barbosa, believes Diaz could've been taken to Venezuela. He told reporters: "We have information that he could, at some point, be in Venezuela. If he ends up crossing the border and he's in Venezuela, we have to ask [Colombia] President Gustavo Petro... to help us with freeing Luis Diaz's father."

Contact has now been made with the authorities in Venezuela, with more troops set to be deployed to patrol the border. It comes as Colombia's military launch a major operation, with over 100 troops set to the mountain region in the north of the country, while planes and helicopters scan the area above and roadblocks are set up at ground level with further troops patrolling in motorised vehicles.

On Sunday afternoon, Colombian police announced that they are offering a 200m Colombian peso reward (£40k) to anyone who can give crucial information in order to help rescue Diaz's father. Colombia's football federation also issued a plea to those who had kidnapped Diaz's father. “We ask the captors of Luis Manuel Diaz, father of Luis F. Diaz, to release him immediately, without conditions," their statement said. "Football is peace. Luis, we are with you. Colombia is with you.”

Earlier in the day, authorities released a video of the director for the police, General William Salamanca, now in charge of the operation to return Diaz's dad to safety, speaking to the Liverpool winger in the early hours of the morning.

In his first communication, as first reported by Semana, Salamanca told Diaz that he had been ordered to lead the rescue mission by the Colombia president and that his mother is "safe and sound." He also added: “We are here using all the air and land capabilities of the police with the support of the Colombian Army."

Diaz pulled out of the Liverpool squad on Sunday morning, having been with the team in the hotel before the match. Portugal international Jota revealed post-game that Diaz had been due to start in his place, before being made aware of the situation with his parents.

"Luis was with us in the hotel then he went home. It's a very hard situation and I don't know how anyone would react if it happened to you. He was going to play. I played instead of him and I showed him his shirt to show we're with him and we hope everything works out.

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