Colombia requests Venezuela's collaboration after border killing

12:32, October 27, 2009      

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Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Monday requested his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez to coordinate measures aimed at protecting people living on their common borders.

The call was made after 10 people were killed at the border area on Saturday .

"I make a call to the Venezuelan government, to its president; for over any difference, we seek the way to coordinate the activities to protect the right of life of the Colombian and Venezuelan citizens," Uribe said.

An initial investigation indicated that the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels killed the 10, 8 Colombians, a Peruvian and a Venezuelan, when they were playing soccer on the Venezuelan side of the border.

But the Colombian president said they may be killed by Venezuelan militia or died in revenge.

Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez said on Monday that the motive of the killing was still not clear and it was important that the Venezuelan authorities "collaborate on making clear the causes and reasons of these facts, and of course, to take the responsible ones to justice."

There have been diplomatic tensions between Colombia and Venezuela after the Colombian troops crossed the border with Ecuador to attack the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels in March 2008. The action was denounced by Venezuela.

Venezuela recalled its diplomatic staff in July after Colombia blamed Venezuela for transferring anti-tank rockets to FARC rebels.

Venezuela later halted the import of Colombian cars and banned a Colombian energy firm from Venezuela's oil-rich Orinoco region.

Source: Xinhua
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