21:06 GMT +314 December 2018
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    Venezuelan Security Forces Kill Nearly Dozen Colombian Militants in Border Clash

    © REUTERS/ Marco Bello
    Latin America
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    MEXICO (Sputnik) - Venezuelan security forces killed seven Colombian militants in an armed clash on the border between the two countries, a senior Venezuelan security official said Wednesday

    The clash took place on Tuesday in the area of Tachira's municipality of Urenya. Venezuelan security forces seized seven firearms, a grenade, three cars and three motorcycles from the militants.

    "Seven Colombian paramilitaries, including five men and two women were killed in the clash," Freddy Bernal wrote on Twitter.

    Bernal was appointed the so-called "protector" of the Tachira region by Venezuelan central authorities to spite the opposition-minded governor. He is also the country's Minister of Urban Agriculture.

    The 1,370-mile border between Venezuela and Colombia is the footprint of smugglers and drug mafias that bypass the official checkpoints. Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro has repeatedly blamed Colombian mafia groups for undermining his country's economy.

    The border was closed for a year from August 2015 by Maduro's decree after smugglers' attack on the military. In August 2016, the two countries agreed to gradually reopen the border.


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