French engineer shot dead in contract killing in Colombia

Colombian police have launched a murder hunt after a Frenchman working for the aerospace company Thales was shot dead in Bogota. The 45-year-old man, who has not been named, emerged with another Frenchman from a pizzzeria in the northern distritct of Chapinero on Monday night.

A man approached them from behind and targeted the victim before escaping.

"We're ruling out robbery as a motive," said Chapinero police chief Robert Mendez. "From what we have been able to ascertain, the actions point towards a contract killing."

The French embassy in Bogota said the dead man had been on an assignment in  Bogota for Thales.

Mendez said the victim had visited the country in 2017 and had not encountered any difficulties.

Thales specializes in aeronautics and defense, including missile systems, naval and jet fighter technology, tactical communications and data security.

The Paris-based defense group expressed shock at the killing, and said the victim's colleague "was immediately supported by the relevant authorities and Thales management on the spot."

The company said a team "has been sent to the scene and is in constant contact with the relevant local authorities and the diplomatic corps."