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Page last updated at 01:28 GMT, Sunday, 8 June 2008 02:28 UK

Colombia 'holds Venezuelan guard'

Hugo Chavez
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is accused of quietly aiding Colombian guerrillas

Colombia says it has arrested a Venezuelan national guard officer who was trying to deliver assault rifle ammunition to Marxist rebels.

The officer is said to have been captured along with three others in the southern Colombian province of Vichada, near the border with Venezuela.

The arrest comes at a time of tension between the two neighbours.

The Bogota government has accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of supporting Colombia's Farc guerrillas.

The arrested officer, named as Manuel Agudo, was helping to carry 40,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition along with another Venezuelan and two Colombians, Attorney General Mario Iguaran said.

Officials believe the ammunition was to be sold to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), Mr Iguaran added.

Tensions between the two countries rose sharply in March, when the Colombian military attacked a Farc camp in neighbouring Ecuador.

During the raid, troops killed several rebels - including a senior Farc commander.

They also seized computer data which, according to Bogota, show that Mr Chavez was personally involved in financing and supplying arms to the rebels.

The raid set off a regional diplomatic crisis, with Venezuela briefly sending tanks to its border with Colombia.




SEE ALSO
Ecuador defence minister resigns
09 Apr 08 |  Americas
'Ecuador incursion' into Colombia
01 Apr 08 |  Americas
Ecuador 'concerned' at raid death
25 Mar 08 |  Americas
Crash kills Ecuador defence chief
25 Jan 07 |  Americas
Country profile: Ecuador
16 Apr 08 |  Country profiles


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