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3 from Facebook hit list killed


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Putumayo Puerto Asis, Colombia – Colombian police are investigating the killings of three youths whose names appeared on hit lists published on the social networking site Facebook.The hit lists warned scores of teenagers in the town of Puerto Asis, in southern Colombia, to leave town or be killed.Two of the youths named were shot on August 15, while a third was killed five days later.Police have sent an investigative team, including Internet experts, to find out who is behind the threats.A local official said a criminal gang had recently expanded its operations to the area and was intimidating locals.Diego Ferney Jaramillo, 16, and Eibart Alejandro Ruiz Munoz, 17, were shot dead as they were driving along a road on the outskirts of Puerto Asis in Putumayo province on their motorcycle on August 15.Colombian ombudsman Volmar Perez Ortiz said that at around the same time, anonymous threats appeared on Facebook, listing 69 local youths and telling them to leave Puerto Asis within three days or be killed. The ombudsman’s office said the authorities at first thought they were dealing with a hoax.But the killing of a third listed teenager, Norbey Alexander Vargas, on August 20 prompted officials to take the threats seriously.Since then, a second threat has appeared, on leaflets left on cars and addressed to the families of the youths.“Please, as relatives, ask them to leave town in less than three days, or we’ll see ourselves forced to carry out more acts like that of August 15,” it read.Another list was published on Facebook on Monday, this time naming 31 local girls.Putumayo province official Andres Gerardo Verdugo said the threats had provoked panic among the town’s families, some of whom had fled.Police officials have not yet commented on who may be behind the threats or why the youths had been targeted. (BBC online)

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