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Colombian Officials Say Combatants Demobilizing


Colombian officials say members of both left- and right-wing armed militia groups in the country have taken steps to demobilize.

Officials say 24 members of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) turned themselves in to authorities on Wednesday. The men were part of a rebel faction that had been operating in and around the western city of Ibague.

They are the first members of the left-wing FARC to demobilize during President Alvaro Uribe's term in office.

Meanwhile, Colombian Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt announced Wednesday that the right-wing paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) will resume its demobilization program following government talks this week.

Some 10,000 of the 20,000-member militia group already have disarmed.

President Uribe was elected in 2002 on the promise of ending the nation's armed insurgency, which has left thousands of people dead each year for the past four decades.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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