Venezuela closes Colombia border crossing
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the closure of a major border crossing with Colombia after three soldiers were attacked while looking for smugglers.
Maduro late Wednesday said the normally busy border in western Tachira state would remain closed for 72 hours. He also vowed to mount a special mission to boost protection for Venezuelans living along the 2,200-kilometer border, an area long plagued by violence stemming from Colombia’s long-running conflict and the presence of drug-trafficking gangs.
Maduro’s announcement, during a phone call to a muchwatched program on state TV hosted by National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, came hours after the attack of three army officers while they were carrying out patrols in the border town of San Antonio.
Maduro said that the assailants, who haven’t been identified, shot the officers — two lieutenants and a captain — from behind before fleeing on motorcycles.
“They were ambushed by two motorcyclists that we’re now looking for, even underneath the rocks,” said Maduro.