Massive military and police searches are underway in Colombia for the father of Liverpool striker Luis Diaz.

Massive military and police searches are underway in Colombia for the father of Liverpool striker Luis Diaz. Authorities are offering a £40,000 reward for information leading to his rescue.

Over 120 soldiers plus police have scoured northern Colombia in search of Luis Manuel Diaz on Sunday amid reports that armed individuals had taken him and his wife.

The player's mother, Silenis Marulanda, was found in Barrancas on Saturday.

Diaz was absent from Liverpool's squad, which defeated Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

The army has set up checkpoints and deployed two motorized platoons, drones, helicopters, and radar-equipped aircraft in the search for his father.

Colombian authorities have not provided details about the abduction, but local media reported that Diaz's parents were abducted by armed individuals on motorcycles at a gas station in Barrancas, their hometown located in the La Guajira region of northern Colombia.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro stated that "all state forces have been deployed" to find Diaz's father.

Speaking on Sunday, the Director of the National Police, General William Rene Salamanca, announced a reward of "up to 200 million pesos" (approximately £40,000) for information.

Attorney General Francisco Barbosa said he had contacted Diaz twice to provide the 26-year-old with updated information on the investigation.

Barbosa told Diaz that there was information suggesting his father may be in Venezuela, a situation that, according to Barbosa, would require President Petro's intervention.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp dedicated Sunday's Premier League victory over Forest to Diaz, saying they won "for our brother."

Diaz's teammate Diogo Jota held up a shirt with Diaz's name and number seven on it after scoring Liverpool's first goal.

Before the match, Liverpool stated that they "are aware of the ongoing situation" with Diaz's family, and his well-being "remains our immediate priority."

Analysis: Vanessa Buschschluter, Latin America and Caribbean Editor

The number of people abducted in Colombia has significantly decreased since 2000 when over 3,500 individuals were kidnapped by guerrilla groups or criminal organizations. In recent years, the figure has been in the hundreds.

However, this year has seen an increase, doubling from 77 in the first six months of 2022 to 161 during the same period in 2023, according to Colombia's Ministry of Defense. Nearly all abductions now are for ransom.

The border area with Venezuela, where Diaz's parents were reportedly taken, has been the hardest hit as gangs, which also engage in smuggling and human trafficking, seek to make quick money. They target affluent individuals and demand large sums for their release.

Unverified CCTV footage published by Colombian media shows men on motorcycles following the car carrying Diaz's parents, suggesting that the criminals singled them out.

The police have not stated if any ransom demands have been made to the family.

Specialized police units combating kidnappings and extortion have been dispatched to the region to secure the release of Luis Manuel Diaz.