10 people including Spaniard abducted in Colombia

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An unspecified "armed group" kidnapped 10 people from a country home in northwestern Antioquia department, police said Tuesday in indicating drug traffickers may be to blame.

Antioquia police chief Colonel Jose Acevedo said the group had been apparently looking for a "group of criminals" at the house.

After failing to find the alleged criminals, the abductors instead "kidnapped 10 people who happened to be there," the police official told Bogota's W Radio.

"Everything seems to indicate this event was linked to drug trafficking."

Several of the people kidnapped were previously linked to criminal groups in the region, according to Acevedo.

A Spanish woman was among the group, though police did not identify her. She had not been originally chosen by the 15-strong armed group.

"I hope the investigation will allow us to know why she was kidnapped" with the others present at the house, added Acevedo.

Colombia is home to several right-wing paramilitaries and leftist rebel groups.

A number of paramilitary fighters disbanded after reaching a deal in 2006 with then-president Alvaro Uribe.

The country's main guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), is Latin America's oldest and strongest insurgency. It has been at war with the Colombian government since 1964.

The pro-Cuban National Liberation Army (ELN), the country's second-largest rebel group, has been engaged in on-and-off peace talks with the Colombian government for years.

© 2011 AFP

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