On Wednesday, Colombian defense minister Vladimir Padrino said that eight soldiers were killed in combat amid continuing clashes between the armed forces and culpable armed groups along the border with Venezuela.
In a brief post on the website of the ministry, Padrino listified the names of the eight soldiers, but not detailing how they died.On Monday, Padrino said Venezuela’s armed forces had died in the past 72 hours in fighting along the border, but did not specify how many had died.
Earlier on Wednesday, General Commander Domingo Hernandez wrote on Twitter that four sergeants were killed on the battlefield while fighting in defense of the fatherland, without elaborating when, where or under what circumstances they died.These four were also included on the Padrino list.
The Information Ministry of Venezuela did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In late March fighting started in the border zones of western Colombia, causing thousands of civilians to flee to Apure state according to rights groups.
Authorities have not specified which groups they are fighting, but opponents have occupied Maduro many years by harboring members of Colombian guerrilla groups like the National Liberation Army and dissident members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia who disavowed a 2016 peace deal.
According to the opposition activist Walter Marquez and another source who asked not to be identified, representatives of the Catholic Church recovered the corpses of some dead soldiers.The Episcopal Conference in Venezuela did not immediately respond to a request for comment.