Escobar man surrenders

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MEDELLIN (AFP) - A suspected hitman for the fugitive drug baron Pablo Escobar surrendered to authorities on Thursday, the local district attorney's office said.

Giovanni Lopera, 25, was immediately taken to a high security prison in Itagui to give a statement to a district attorney, whose identity was kept secret to guard him from reprisals by the Medellin cocaine cartel.

Mr Lopera, the 14th member of Escobar's gang to surrender since Escobar escaped from prison in July 1992, has been linked to numerous attacks over the past four months, police said.

Police said Mr Lopera may have surrendered because an anti-Escobar vigilante group said they were looking for him.