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Friday, June 21, 2013

DEA agent stabbed to death in Colombia

BOGOTA --- A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent died from stab wounds after a robbery late on Thursday during a taxi ride from an exclusive part of Colombia's capital, local police and U.S. officials said.

The agent, who has not been officially named, hailed the taxi after leaving a restaurant in Bogota's Parque de la 93 shortly before midnight, Colonel Camilo Cabana of the Bogota police told reporters early on Friday.

The victim escaped the vehicle after being stabbed and was taken to a local hospital where he died, Cabana said.

The U.S. ambassador to Colombia, P. Michael McKinley, said the agent left the restaurant after watching a basketball game with friends. "What we have established is that it was a classic criminal robbery that ended in tragedy," McKinley said on local radio.

Police said the crime did not appear connected to the agent's work and that he likely had been taken on what is known as a "millionaire ride" in which victims are taken by taxi and driven to a spot where others enter and then force them to withdraw money from cash machines.

U.S. officials in Bogota and police are watching video recordings of the area where the agent was picked up. A reward of 50 million pesos ($25,800) has been offered for information, said General Jose Roberto Leon, the national police chief.

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