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Colombia's Uribe Says Militia Chiefs May be Extradited to US


Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is warning that demobilized paramilitary commanders will face extradition to the United States if a probe links them to weapons and cash found at the prison where they are being held.

President Uribe issued the warning Thursday as authorities investigated how a handgun, grenade and at least $5,000 in cash turned up at the high-security Itagui prison near Medellin.

He said that as soon as authorities learn the identities of those responsible, they will no longer be covered by Colombia's Justice and Peace law. That law offers reduced prison sentences and other incentives to civil war combatants who demobilize.

An estimated 30,000 paramilitary fighters have demobilized under Mr. Uribe's government. Some human rights groups, however, have criticized the disarmament program as being too lenient on those who have committed abuses.

The paramilitaries of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, along with two leftist rebel groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army, have been designated as terrorist organizations by the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.

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