CARACAS, Venezuela — Gunmen believed to be Colombians ambushed and killed four Venezuelan National Guard troops near the nations' border Saturday in the second deadly attack on Venezuelan forces in three days, officers said.
"We presume this was carried out by a group of Colombian irregulars," Gen. Castor Perez said in a televised interview from Zulia state, where the troops were killed while patrolling in the remote Tres Bocas frontier region.
Perez said it was not immediately clear whether Marxist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries or another Colombian group was responsible for the killings, which he said probably were carried out by a large group.
"Our unit was hit by more than 50 bullets," he said.
The deaths brought to seven the number of Venezuelan troops killed in the border region last week.
Three National Guard troops patrolling the border in Tachira state, south of Zulia, were ambushed and killed Wednesday by unidentified gunmen.
Venezuela's armed forces sometimes clash with Colombian guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries as well as local drug traffickers and kidnappers along the rugged border. But military casualties on the Venezuelan side have been relatively rare until recently.