Tuesday 19 March, 2019

The Latest: 2 killed, 18 injured in Venezuela border clashes

A demonstrators is given first aid after he was injured in the face during clashes with the Bolivarian National Guard in Urena, Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.

A demonstrators is given first aid after he was injured in the face during clashes with the Bolivarian National Guard in Urena, Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.

An emergency doctor says two protesters have been killed and another 18 have been injured during clashes between soldiers and residents of the southeastern Venezuelan town of Santa Elena de Uairen, near the border with Brazil.

Earlier, a woman told The Associated Press that her brother had died after being injured in clashes with Venezuelan armed forces.

However, the doctor told the AP that the woman's brother was still alive.

The doctor added that the two deceased have not been identified.

The clashes occurred as the Venezuelan opposition attempted to carry out a plan to bring humanitarian aid into the South American nation over the objections of President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro announced he's breaking all diplomatic ties with neighboring Colombia amid deepening political turmoil.

Maduro spoke Saturday as opposition leader Juan Guaido launched an effort to bring international humanitarian aid into Venezuela from across the border in Cucuta, Colombia.

Maduro denies a humanitarian crisis exists, saying Guaido is a puppet of the United States which seeks to colonize Venezuela and exploit its oil.

Guaido made public appearances throughout the day alongside Colombia's President Ivan Duque, an outspoken critic of Maduro and close U.S. ally.

Maduro asked for the blessing of a mass of loyal supporters in Caracas.

He then ordered Colombia's diplomats out of the country within the next 24 hours.

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