Two Venezuelan soldiers were killed when an antipersonnel mine exploded during the fighting in a border region with Colombia, in which they have faced an armed group since March 21 that several NGOs have identified as FARC dissidents, official sources reported this Thursday.
The two deceased were identified as First Sergeant Andriel Istúriz Sojo and Second Sergeant Jesús Alexander Vásquez Pérez, who join Major Edward Ramón Cobo Segovia and First Lieutenant Yonathan Miguel Duarte, who died in the first days of the fighting, a statement said of the Ministry of Defense.
In addition, the official information, which still does not identify the group they are facing, brought the number of “neutralized terrorists” to nine, a word used with ambiguity that does not allow clarifying whether they died or were arrested.
Until yesterday, they had confirmed the “neutralization” of six members of that armed group.
Although they have not confirmed the armed gang they are facing and have only reported that it is of Colombian origin, the military have released photographs of seized uniforms with the initials of the former Colombian guerrilla of the FARC in previous days.
The official information, signed by the Minister of Defense, Vladimir Padrino, also reports the arrest of 31 people who “were brought to the order of the 14th Military Control Court with a custodial measure”, as well as a citizen “who will be presented in the next few hours ”before the same court.
Six explosive devices were also deactivated on different highway axes and nine camps were destroyed, including one used for the processing of cocaine paste.
Nine soldiers have been wounded in the fighting, “who are being given proper medical attention in the military health network.”
The statement does not mention journalists Luis Gonzalo Pérez and Rafael Hernández, from the international channel NTN24, who have been detained along with activists Juan Carlos Salazar and Diógenes Tirado, from the NGO Fundaredes, who have spread information about the fighting since its inception.
According to the National Union of Press Workers (SNTP), the four are under arrest in Brigade 92, Sorocaima de Guasdualito fort, in the Páez municipality, Apure state.
However, the Ministry of Defense statement highlights that they have observed “how the operators of the media scoundrel deploy their dirty manipulations to stoke violence in Alto Apure.”
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.