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Drug war will continue despite Escobar's death in Colombia

MEDELLIN, Colombia -- The death of Colombian druglord Pablo Escobar, one of the most-wanted men in the world, does not signify an end to the drug war.

Observers say Escobar's death in a shootout Thursday with Colombia security police may mean an end to the Medellin drug cartel, which the drug kingpin headed, as it is now known.

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But they added that other drug groups -- like the Cali cartel -- still exist and that the money to be made in the cocaine trade will assure continued interest in trafficking.

Escobar, 44, was Colombia's most wanted fugitive and had eluded security forces since his escape from prison in July1992.

Officials said police traced a call made by Escobar to a house in a residential neighborhood of Medellin, 160 miles (258 km) northwest of Bogota, precipating Thursday's deadly shootout with security forces.

'I don't think cocaine traffic will end with the death of Escobar,' said retired Gen. Miguel Maza, the former head of Colombia's secret police. He saidother groups still exist 'that are dedicated to this business and the police should continue the fight, without lowering their guard.'

Colombian President Cesar Gavira said government efforts 'have served to break the backbone of the criminal drug trafficking organizations' but that the fight in Colombia will continue.

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