Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino announced that eight Venezuelan soldiers were captured during the fighting with “Colombian irregular armed groups” in the state of Apure, bordering Colombia.
Padrino did not specify when or where the soldiers were captured, but he said that the armed forces had received evidence that they were alive on May 9.
A Venezuelan nongovernmental organization, Fundaredes, reported the arrests earlier in the week, but Venezuelan officials had not previously commented on the incident.
“We have established the necessary contacts for their immediate release, and the foreign minister of the republic is coordinating with the International Committee of the Red Cross to act as a mediator for the release of our brothers in arms,” Padrino said. Who read a note on the state TV channel.
At least 12 Venezuelan soldiers have been killed since March in battles in Apure against Colombian armed groups, which the government has not identified.
The non-governmental organization Fundaridis said that rebels from the 10th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had captured the army, citing an alleged statement by the group.