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VENEZUELA has reinforced its border with Colombia after three soldiers were killed in an armed attack yesterday that is believed to have been carried out by Colombian guerilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Ten other soldiers were injured in the attack in Amazonas state, Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez reported, calling it retribution for Venezuela’s capture of nine Colombian paramilitary members.
“We will find the paramilitaries wherever they are,” he said. “For now I say to them: ‘Leave Venezuela. There is no space here. There has never been any space here for you’.”
The Colombian Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the attack on Venezuelan soldiers and describing it as terrorism.
One of the Venezuelans arrested is recognised ELN leader Luis Felipe Ortega Bernal, Colombian officials said.
“Colombia rejects terrorism and violence generated by organised armed groups such as the ELN,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The fight against terrorism is a duty of all the states.”
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