Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina set for deeper recession after default

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Former WHO Deputy Regional Director for Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a 'Third Intifada'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Germany and Russia discuss secret Ukraine deal

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France commemorates a hero of the left

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Fake Twitter accounts spread chinese propaganda

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

  • Israel calls up 16,000 more reservist as Gaza death toll soars

    Read more

  • Kiev declares 24-hour ceasefire to aid MH17 probe

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further EUR1.9bn to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with creditors

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

Americas

Military helicopter crash kills 18 on Colombian border

Latest update : 2009-05-04

A Venezuelan military helicopter crashed while patrolling the Colombian border, killing at least 17 soldiers and one civilian, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced in his weekly television programme "Hello Mr.President".

AFP - A Venezuelan military helicopter crashed while patrolling the border with Colombia Sunday, killing at least 18 people, President Hugo Chavez said.
   
Those killed included General Domingo Faneite, 16 soldiers of varying ranks and a civilian, Chavez said in his weekly radio and television program "Hello Mr. President."
   
"I pay tribute to these soldiers of the homeland, especially general Faneite, who was my cadet," said Chavez, a retired Army lieutenant colonel.
   
The president did not specify where the accident took place or its suspected cause.
   
Chavez also blasted the annual terror report released by the US State Department on Thursday that listed Havana and Tehran as state sponsors of terrorism, and raised concerns about Caracas. The report also said Venezuela was neglecting to patrol its borders.
   
"Look at how we have suffered from the internal conflict in Colombia, which is also fueled by US warmongers, by the dogs of war who are selling weapons to fuel conflict," he said.
   
"They accuse us of not patrolling the border. How many lives have we, Venezuelans, lost in the conflict in Colombia? Eighteen Venezuelans died today, Sunday, while patrolling the border and the US government accuses us of not patrolling the border."
   
Chavez said that he had spoken about the conflict in Colombia when he met with US President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April.
   
"I told him: there is Colombia, Obama. I am willing to help in the search for peace; but it would be great if Obama said it, and were trying to achieve peace instead of fueling the war."
   
Republicans have pounced on the encounter, with photos showing Obama smiling as he shook Chavez's hand and patted him on the shoulder, saying it was a sign of weakness on the part of the US leader.
   
The State Department report accused Venezuela of limiting its counter-terrorism cooperation because of Chavez's ideological sympathy with Colombia's left-wing guerrilla groups.
   
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro on Thursday called the report an example of US "doublespeak," saying it fit with the approach of the administration of former president George W. Bush.
   
The report also charged that "Venezuelan citizenship, identity, and travel documents remained easy to obtain, making Venezuela a potentially attractive way-station for terrorists."
   
Tensions between neighbors Colombia and Venezuela soared a year ago after Colombia bombed a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel base inside Ecuador, a Venezuela ally. Both countries reinforced their border areas with troops but stopped short of military action.
   
Colombia's largest guerrilla group with an estimated 7,000 fighters, FARC continues to hold some 22 Colombian police and soldiers it wants to exchange for imprisoned colleagues.
 

Date created : 2009-05-03

COMMENT(S)