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Feb 19,2008
Colombia: Soldiers convicted of killings
by UPI

BOGOTA - Fifteen Colombian soldiers face up to 60 years in prison after being convicted of killing 10 undercover narcotics agents, it was reported Monday.

Former Lt. Col. Byron Carvajal and 14 soldiers under his command await sentencing by Judge Edmundo Lopez for the May 2006 killing of the narcotics officers in southern Colombia, El Tiempo reported Monday.

Carvajal claims he thought the officers killed by his men were, in fact, leftist rebels working with drug traffickers.

Initially following the incident, Colombian authorities said the killings were a mistake. However, a later investigation turned up evidence of ties between the soldiers convicted and drug gangs.

Colombia is the world's largest producer of cocaine and a major producer of heroin.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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