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Page last updated at 23:51 GMT, Saturday, 24 October 2009 00:51 UK

Colombian football team 'killed'

By Will Grant
BBC News, Caracas

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At least 10 bodies - believed to be those of a kidnapped Colombian football team - have been found across the border in Venezuela.

The bodies, with multiple gunshot wounds, were found in Tachira. One of the team is reported to have survived.

State authorities say they suspect a left-wing Colombian guerrilla group, the ELN, is to blame for the deaths.

The team, kidnapped two weeks ago, was known as Los Maniceros or Peanut Men, as they sold nuts along the border.

The Venezuelan authorities say they are still investigating whether the bodies are those of the kidnapped team members.

But local authorities in Tachira and several local newspapers are already reporting that the footballers have been killed.

The most senior official in Tachira state, Leomagno Flores, blamed the violence on the armed wing of the ELN, a group led by a man known El Payaso or the Clown.

He said it had been confirmed by the only survivor of the attack.

There is no clear motive for the violence although there is some speculation that it relates to enforced recruitment to their army.



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