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Friday, 13 October, 2000, 23:04 GMT 00:04 UK
Abductees murdered in Colombia
Colombian kidnap victim
The victims were alleged to have helped left-wing rebels
The bodies of 11 people shot dead by their kidnappers have been found by police in Colombia.

The eight men and three women, whose hands and feet had been lashed together, died of multiple gunshot wounds fired at point-blank range, police spokesmen said.

The victims were among 14 people kidnapped on Thursday night by armed men, who attacked a village La Chorrera near Medellin.

The three other hostages apparently managed to escape.

Paramilitary killings

Police believe that the kidnapping was carried out by members of the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), a right-wing paramilitary force.

The villagers were abducted after an informant identified them as alleged collaborators of a Marxist rebel group operating in the area.

Witnesses said the gunmen threatened to return and carry out reprisals against anyone else found helping left-wing rebels.

Human rights groups accuse the AUC, which has an estimated 6,000 fighters nationwide, of committing most of the massacres and other atrocities in an increasingly brutal civil conflict, that has claimed 35,000 lives in the past decade.

Paramilitaries also launched a separate attack in Ocala, north-east Colombia, on Thursday, and kidnapped five people.

Three of them were released on Friday, according to police reports.

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