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Colombia Slams U.S. on Hostage Decision

Colombian politicians on Sunday accused Washington of meddling in their country’s affairs for sending more U.S. troops to search for three Americans held hostage by rebels. U.S. officials have been assisting the investigation and Pentagon officials announced Saturday that President Bush ordered another 150 U.S. soldiers to Colombia to help in the search. On Sunday, Defense Dept. spokesperson Lt. Col. Gary Keck said that number was incorrect, adding, “We are not discussing numbers at this time.” Some Colombians said the decision to send additional U.S. troops was ill-advised. Colombian congressman Gustavo Petro, a former leftist rebel, warned against further U.S. involvement in Colombia’s 38-year civil war. Some 260 U.S. special forces troops already are in Colombia training government troops to fight the rebels. “Colombia is not Afghanistan, it is not Iraq,” Petro told Radionet. “With the type of violent conflict we’re living here, what the United States is going to get tangled up in is a new Vietnam.” Full Story

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