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Maduro says troops will remain on high alert on border with Colombia after drills

Maduro said that "no armed groups will be able to freely stay in Venezuela"

CARACAS, October 8. /TASS/. Venezuela’s troops will remain deployed on the border with Colombia despite the end of military drills, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said.

"I made a decision to extend the second phase of the orange level of threat and the deployment of our armed forces," Maduro said during his speech broadcast on Twitter.

"No armed groups will be able to freely stay in Venezuela. There is no place for Colombian violence on our country’s soil," Maduro stressed.

Venezuelan armed forces carried out drills on the border with Colombia on September 10-28. Ahead of the maneuvers, Maduro had also declared the orange level of threat in the border region citing "the threat of aggression" by the neighboring state against Venezuela. In his turn, Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo accused Caracas of "military provocations on the border."

Earlier, Colombia’s authorities accused Venezuela’s government of granting an asylum and helping former rebels from the left-wing radical group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which had declared the resumption of an armed struggle. However, Caracas blamed Bogota for protecting terrorists, who had been plotting blasts in Venezuela.