Venezuela

Venezuela closes key bridge to Colombia after attack

In this May 16, 2014 file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro stands outside the Miraflores Presidential Palace where he received Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas, in Caracas, Venezuela.
In this May 16, 2014 file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro stands outside the Miraflores Presidential Palace where he received Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas, in Caracas, Venezuela. AP

The busiest border crossing between Colombia and Venezuela remained closed Thursday after Venezuela shut it down overnight after an attack on three soldiers.

The Venezuelan government said late Wednesday that the bridge between San Cristobal, Venezuela and Cúcuta, Colombia would be shut for 72 hours after three guards, working on anti-smuggling and contraband, were shot by unknown men.

“Enough of this terrorism, the paramilitaries, and the attack on the dignity of the people,” President Nicolás Maduro said, according to state-run AVN news agency.

The government said all three soldiers had survived the attack and were receiving treatment.

Venezuelan subsidies on some goods have created thriving smuggling networks along the border. And the government often blames Colombian criminal gangs and paramilitary groups for the violence in Venezuela.

Along with foot traffic, the bridge is vital for commercial trade between the two nations.

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