Gunmen execute nine peasants in Colombia
Local police blamed the killings on the rightist paramilitary United Self-Defense
Forces of Colombia, or AUC.
Armed men dressed in civilian clothing shot and killed five people early
the town of Chiriguana, 340 miles (550 kilometers) north of the capital, Bogota.
Gunmen wearing military uniforms killed four others in the village of Fresno, 75
miles (120 kilometers) west of Bogota.
Authorities were investigating reports that the AUC on Friday killed nine
people in Tolima province.
The AUC, which authorities say is responsible for most of the human rights
committed in this South American country, is waging a murderous campaign
against civilians suspected of aiding leftist guerrillas. The 37-year civil conflict
typically kills about 3,500 people every year.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.