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Venezuela declares martial law

August 22, 2015 7:32 pm

The Venezuelan president has declared a state of emergency in a border region near Colombia following an attack by smugglers in which three soldiers and a civilian were injured.

Nicolas Maduro said there would be 60 days of martial law in five municipalities in the state of Tachira.

He also said the closure of the border, announced on Thursday, would be extended until further notice.

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has criticised the move.

Mr Santos said ordinary people on both sides of the border, including children, would suffer the most.

“If we co-operate, the only ones to lose are the criminals, but if the border is closed, there is no co-ordination and the only ones to gain are the criminals,” said Mr Santos.

Petrol and food smugglers have increasingly clashed with Venezuelan officers.

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