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Hundreds of Colombian Paramilitaries Disarm


Colombian officials say 552 right-wing paramilitary fighters have turned over their weapons as part of an on-going peace agreement with the government.

Colombia's Peace Commission says the weapons were turned in at a ceremony Thursday in Santuario, nearly 300 kilometers west of the capital, Bogota. The militia men were from a group known as the Heroes and Martyrs of Guatica, a faction of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.

Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo attended the ceremony, along with other officials. The commission says more than 13,000 paramilitary fighters have now turned over their weapons and will take part in programs designed to reintegrate the fighters into society.

Colombia has been mired in a nearly 40-year conflict between leftist rebels, rightist paramilitaries and the government. The conflict leaves thousands of people dead each year.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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