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Venezuela Closes Colombian Border

  • VOA News

FILE - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters in New York, July 28, 2015.

FILE - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters in New York, July 28, 2015.

Venezuela's president has declared a temporary state of emergency along parts of its border with Colombia, following a skirmish between suspected smugglers and soldiers. At least three soldiers were wounded in the clash.

President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech Friday that "As part of measures to restore order, peace, tranquility and justice ... I have decided to declare a state of emergency" in several municipalities of eastern Tachira state. He said the border would remain closed until a sense of normalcy can be returned to the affected area.

The president closed the border Wednesday following the confrontation between the soldiers and the smugglers.

Colombia's foreign minister said it is working with Venezuela to track down the attackers.

Colombia and Venezuela share a 2,100-kilometer porous border. The closed-off area has a long history of violence stemming from Colombia's long-running insurgency, drug trafficking, and the smuggling of cheap goods from Venezuela.

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