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Colombians cross into Venezuela to flee violence: President

Colombians cross into Venezuela to flee violence: President

Caracas: President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro claimed that a large number of Colombians were crossing the border into Venezuela in order to "flee violence".

Speaking during his weekly TV show, "In contact with Maduro", the president on Sunday said: "We are receiving this massive migration, a product of the continuing civil war and violence in Colombia. Yesterday (Saturday), 359 people were registered at a single border crossing on the Colombia-Venezuela border."

Maduro also said he had ordered the governor of the state of Zulia, Francisco Arias Cardenas, to take all necessary measures as the border with Colombia "is very long and the situation could worsen", Xinhua news agency reported.

However, the President expressed his sympathy with the Colombian migrants and said that the Venezuelan armed forces would respect human rights.

He said Venezuela had received "100,000 Colombian migrants...with open arms" in 2016.

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