Chavez: 2 Venezuelan soldiers killed near border

AP News
Posted: Mar 12, 2012 12:35 PM
Chavez: 2 Venezuelan soldiers killed near border

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said two soldiers were killed near his country's border with Colombia.

Chavez said he discussed the killings with his defense minister and other military officials. He didn't give details about how they died but said "that border is filled ... with violent groups."

The Venezuelan leader referred to the killings in televised remarks from Cuba on Sunday night. He identified the two as 1st Lt. Jackson Ruiz and 2nd Sgt. Nelson Gomez, from an infantry battalion in southwestern Tachira state.

Gen. Eusebio Aguero Sequera told state television that the two died on Saturday in a confrontation with an armed group in the town of Rubio, and that another man was wounded.

Aguero said that after the clash, the group crossed the border into Colombia. He described it as a group that has been a "generator of violence" but didn't identify it.

Armed groups thought to operate along the border include drug traffickers, Colombian rebels and paramilitary fighters.