Gunmen shoot revellers

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The Independent Online
"KEEP quiet, sons of bitches. Nobody move, we're here to fumigate this place." The voice came from the leader of 50 masked, heavily-armed men in full military gear who drove into the northern Colombian town of Barrancabermeja at the weekend and stunned this country with yet another massacre, writes Phil Davison.

Checking residents' names against a list, apparently of people they suspected of being left-wing guerrillas or sympathisers, they shot some who had been dancing to the popular vallenato music on a football pitch, others in a billiard hall. All the time they shouted: "We're the fumigators."

By the time the gunmen, thought to be from a right-wing paramilitary group, left the town's poor Nino Divino suburb on Saturday night, 12 people had been killed. The gunmen then forced 30 young men to board three lorries before driving off.