The New York Times | 11/20/2009 12:00:00 AM
Venezuela Blows Up Two Foot Bridges to Colombia
Nov 20--Venezuelan soldiers on Thursday blew up two makeshift foot bridges that stretched across the border to Colombia in the latest incident to stoke a diplomatic dispute between the Andean neighbors.
The long-simmering Andes spat has been mostly limited to diplomatic barbs in the past. But the current crisis is raising the risk of more violence along the volatile frontier where rebels, drug gangs and smugglers operate.
General Eusebio Aguero, Venezuela's army commander in the Tachira border region, ordered his soldiers to destroy the bridges using explosives. He said the crossings were unauthorized and used for illegal activities.
"They are two foot bridges that paramilitary fighters used, where gasoline and drug precursors were smuggled, subversive groups entered," he told reporters, adding that several other bridges would be destroyed. "They are not considered in any international treaty."
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