The National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) and Colombian rebels clashed once again in Puerto Ayacucho in Amazonas state during the overnight hours, just hours after a firefight between the two sides claimed the lives of four Venezuelan soldiers.
According to a journalist named Carolina Azavache, “gunfire and explosions” echoed through Puerto Ayacucho early this morning, and were possibly an attempt by Colombian guerrillas to rescue one of their leaders who was captured yesterday by Venezuelan authorities.
Yesterday, a group of National Guard soldiers were ambushed by individuals believed to form part of the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), a Colombian guerrilla group that also operates inside Venezuela. Following the ambush, the Venezuelan authorities captured at least three suspected ELN members.
Puerto Ayacucho is located directly on the border with Colombia.
The ELN has been rumoured to be operating inside Venezuela for months, and has been blamed for massacres inside Venezuelan territory.
National Assembly deputy Ismael Garcia claimed today that the Venezuelan border is no longer under the control of the Venezuelan authorities, but rather of the ELN. On the guerrilla group, Garcia said:
They’re a sophisticated group with high-caliber weapons. They’ve killed several people [in Venezuela] and control that territory [the border], because the Venezuelan government has allowed them to do it and facilitated it.
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