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Colombia Hands Over US Soldiers Suspected of Arms Smuggling


U.S. officials have taken custody of two American soldiers arrested in Colombia on suspicion of smuggling ammunition to illegal right-wing paramilitary groups.

Colombian officials handed over the soldiers Thursday, two days after they were detained during a raid on a home near Bogota. The raid turned up some 31,000 rounds of ammunition.

The Associated Press reports that Colombian officials have asked the U.S. military to delay transferring the men out of the country so Bogota can determine if a 1974 treaty gives the soldiers immunity from prosecution.

A Pentagon spokesman says he believes the U.S. ambassador in Bogota intends to allow Colombian officials to question the men. U.S. officials say they also are investigating the allegations.

Hundreds of U.S. troops are in Colombia to provide support to local authorities battling insurgents and drug traffickers.

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