Venezuela To Request UN Aid To Clear Mines From Colombia Border
Umer Jamshaid 6 days ago Mon 05th April 2021 | 08:20 AM
Caracas, April 5 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 5th Apr, 2021 ) :Venezuela announced Sunday it will request "immediate aid" from the United Nations to clear antipersonnel mines that Caracas alleges were placed in the southeast of the country by Colombian armed groups.
Venezuela is preparing "to ask for immediate emergency aid from the UN... to defuse minefields left by these illegal groups of murderers and drug traffickers from Colombia," Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech.
According to Caracas' official toll, 15 people -- six Venezuelan soldiers and nine members of the armed groups described as "terrorists" by authorities -- were killed Sunday, while the Venezuelan military posted photos of artillery fire on Twitter.
More than 30 people have also been arrested, and weapons, explosives and drugs seized since the start of the fighting intended, according to Caracas, to prevent Colombian armed groups settled along the border from entering Venezuelan territory.
"We have dislodged (these groups) from several camps. They left a mined territory behind... We have lost several soldiers with these mines," Maduro said.
"They are dressed as guerrillas to serve the drug trafficking routes," Maduro added.
But some guerrilla fighters refused to join the peace process and have continued their struggle, while also mixing with and battling drug-traffickers in lawless areas of Colombia, including close to the Venezuelan border.
Maduro acknowledged last Sunday that it was possible the groups were FARC dissidents.
Diplomatic relations between the neighboring South American nations have been nonexistent since Colombia recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as his country's interim president in 2019.
Bogota has also long accused Venezuela of shielding members of FARC and armed rebel group ELN on its soil, a charge Maduro denies.