At least three National Guard soldiers were killed and 10 others were injured in a firefight with what the authorities believe were members of the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), a Colombian guerrilla group that according to media reports has been operating in Venezuela for months.
The firefight took place in the remote community of Picatonal, near Puerto Ayacucho in Amazonas state. Puerto Ayacucho sits on the border with Colombia.
According to El Universal, the firefight took place after National Guard soldiers captured a man named Luis Felipe Ortega Bernal, a Colombian national and suspected ELN member. A National Guard patrol was later “ambushed” by ELN forces while on patrol, the newspaper reports.
In the aftermath of the ambush, Venezuelan authorities captured three suspected ELN members and confiscated weapons, including a grenade, as well as money.
ELN activity has received increased attention in Venezuela in recent months as the group appears to have expanded its operations into gold mining areas of Bolivar state, hundreds of kilometers away from Colombia.
Most recently, ELN forces are suspected of having killed at least 7 miners near Tumeremo, Bolivar state over a period of three days starting on October 14. The violence stems from the group’s attempts to establish control over gold mines in the area.
WB: Inflation Rate Hits 500,000%
The World Bank (WB) updated its inflation figures for Venezuelan today, revealing that the country’s inflation rate over the last year has hit 500,000%.
The figure is found in a WB report on the Venezuelan migrant crisis, part of which reads:
The economic crisis in Venezuela could be categorized as one of the most severe in recent economic history…
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that the inflation rate in Venezuela will hit 1,350,000% at the end of this year.
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