Venezuela has reinforced its border with Colombia with more troops after three Venezuelan soldiers were killed in an attack by an armed group over the weekend - thought to be paramilitary forces, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said Monday.
Ten other soldiers were injured in the attack in Amazonas state, which Padrino said was retribution for Venezuela's capture of "nine Colombian paramilitary members."
"We will find the paramilitaries wherever they are," Padrino said in a statement on state television. "For now I say to them: leave Venezuela. There is no space here. There has never been any space here for you."
Incidents involving Venezuelan soldiers along the border are fairly common and have led to diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
In September, the Colombian government sent a letter of protest after Venezuelan soldiers crossed the border to detain three Colombian citizens. Diplomatic relations are also tense due to Colombia's alignment with the United States and other allies and support for economic and financial sanctions that have greatly affected the Venezuelan economy.
After the attacks, the Venezuelan state deployed troops to the border with Colombian. The exact number of troops has not been disclosed.