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New clash between Venezuelans and Brazilian troops, navy threatened to open fire on aid ship

Staff Writer |
New clashes have broken out between protesters on the border with Brazil.

Dozens of Venezuelans who had come to the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima began throwing rocks across the closed border at Venezuelan troops, who responded with tear gas and buckshot, The Washington Post reported.

Globo television broadcast images of a Brazilian soldier advancing to the border line on Sunday to appeal for calm on the part of the Venezuelan soldiers and to urge protesters and journalists to move back.

Local officials say dozens of people were injured in more violent clashes on Saturday as Venezuelan forces blocked aid shipments from crossing the border.

Brazilian Navy Col. George Feres Kanaan is coordinating humanitarian logistics in Roraima state, and he says two Venezuelan National Guard sergeants sought refuge in Brazil on Saturday, abandoning President Nicolas Maduro’s forces.

A Venezuelan Navy vessel threatened to "open fire" on a ship carrying humanitarian aid that was dispatched and financed by Puerto Rico's government, according to the island's governor.

In a statement Saturday night, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said he instructed the ship, which departed the island Wednesday and had six American citizens on board, to leave the area where it was reportedly threatened by embattled President Nicolás Maduro's navy to ensure the crew's safety.

"This is a direct threat against a humanitarian mission being carried out by American citizens," he said. "This is unacceptable and shameful."

Rosselló said he had notified U.S. government official about the alleged incident.

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