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Colombia Issues Ultimatum to Paramilitary Forces

The Colombian government has warned right-wing paramilitaries that they must disarm by the end of the year or face military confrontation.

The ultimatum Tuesday came in response to a paramilitary group's decision to suspend disarmament.

The United Self-Defense Forces (AUC) initially agreed to disband in exchange for leniency from the courts.

But the group is now calling for a guarantee that its members will not be extradited to the United States on drug charges. It is also calling for the release of AUC leader Diego Murillo, who is imprisoned on suspicion of murder as well as drug smuggling.

Critics of President Alvaro Uribe's peace plan say it does not do enough to ensure the fighters disband for good.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.