Seven killed in Colombia-Venezuela border clash

Seven suspected Colombian paramilitaries were killed in a confrontation with Venezuelan security forces in Tachira state on the border, an official said today.

The incident in La Cabrera — which borders the Colombian department of Norte de Santander — involved “the Colombian ‘Los Pelusos’ paramilitary group,” said Freddy Bernal, Venezuela’s urban agriculture minister said.

Bernal said the group, from which five men and two women were killed, was linked to paramilitary and drug trafficking group Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), or the Gulf Clan.

They were in possession of military gear, firearms, a grenade, “leaflets inciting violence” and drugs, the minister said.

On Sunday, three Venezuelans were killed by Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels in Norte de Santander, in one of several recent violent attacks following the suspension of peace talks with Juan Manuel Santos’s government last month.

Colombia and Venezuela share a 2,219 kilometer porous border, along which fuel smugglers, guerillas and drug traffickers operate, according to both governments. (AFP)