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Ex-Chilean Military Officials Held in Probe of Pinochet-Era Case

A Chilean judge has ordered the detention of 13 former military officials allegedly linked to the deaths of political prisoners in the Pinochet-era "Caravan of Death" operation.

The judge Tuesday ordered the detentions in connection with the operation, in which Chilean troops traveled from town to town, killing dozens of people opposed to dictator General Augusto Pinochet's takeover in a 1973 coup.

Pinochet was charged in the case five years ago, but the Supreme Court ruled he was physically and mentally unfit to stand trial and dropped the charges.

An estimated 3,000 people died or disappeared during Pinochet's 1973 to 1990 hold on power, and the retired general faces human rights charges stemming from his dictatorship. In addition, the 90-year-old Pinochet and members of his family have been charged with tax evasion and fraud.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.