Seven Venezuelan soldiers died Thursday when their Superpuma helicopter crashed during an anti-narcotics operation in the western state of Apure, near the Colombian border, officials said.
A statement from the armed forces said the bodies were recovered after the crash at 5:15 am (0945 GMT) and that an investigation was underway.
Venezuela earlier this month launched a deployment of 15,000 forces to beef up patrols along its borders with Colombia, Brazil and Guyana, part of its Operation Centinela begun in 2009 to detect drug trafficking and armed groups.
by Penny MacRae Â© 2012 AFP
Date: Mar 29, 2012