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Colombian Paramilitaries Push for Protection Against Extradition

A spokesman for Colombia's right-wing paramilitaries says they may turn against the government if they are not protected from extradition as they disarm.

In an interview broadcast Tuesday, Ivan Roberto Duque (who also goes by the name Ernesto Baez) said if the government insists on extraditing militia leaders to the United States on drug charges, the right-wing fighters may begin to have more in common with their leftist rebel opponents than with the government they traditionally defend.

Mr. Duque also said the planned disarmament of the militias by December 31 is impossible to accomplish. His group suspended disarmament measures last week, calling for a guarantee its members will not be extradited.

The Colombian government has warned the paramilitaries they could face military confrontation if they fail to meet the deadline.

Some information for this report provided by AP .