Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    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)