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Venezuela Frees Detained Colombian Soldiers


Venezuela has freed 11 Colombian soldiers who had been detained after entering Venezuelan territory without authorization.

Colombia's government says the soldiers were turned over to consular officers Thursday at a military base in Venezuela's Apure state.

The soldiers were taken into custody Sunday while entering Venezuela in a taxi.

Colombia says the soldiers were using Venezuelan territory as a safe travel corridor to avoid leftist rebels on the Colombian side of the 2,200-kilometer border.

Colombia's ambassador to Venezuela, Enrique Vargas Ramirez, thanked Caracas for the soldiers' release, saying it showed the advances that the two governments have made in security efforts.

The two countries recently resolved a dispute sparked by Bogota's admission it paid bounty hunters to seize a Colombian rebel in Caracas and return him to Colombia.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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