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Colombian general quits amid scandal

BOGOTA, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Gen. Mario Montoya quit as commander of Colombia's army Tuesday after a probe linked military troops to the slayings of civilians.

The investigation determined that dozens of members of the armed forces killed civilians in an apparent attempt to inflate the number of insurgents and gang members killed in combat, The New York Times reported. According to the report, young men were taken from poor neighborhoods around Bogota to a war zone in the country's northern regions where they were killed by soldiers.

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The resignation Montoya, 59, came the week after the government of President Alvaro Uribe fired 27 officers and soldiers, including three generals.

"These killings permeate the entire military hierarchy and their civilian overseers," Sen. Gustavo Petro told the Times. "General Montoya's resignation was necessary, but the administration must be held responsible for allowing crimes like these to occur."

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