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Colombia denies hostile intent

Colombia's government said it never considered attacking Venezuela, saying Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is deceiving his people by claiming Bogota may have such designs.

A statement by Colombia also denies an allegation by Mr Chavez that a Colombian military helicopter encroached Venezuelan airspace for five minutes.

Tensions heightened since Colombia released evidence on July 20 it said shows Venezuela gives haven to Colombian rebels.

Mr Chavez severed diplomatic relations in response, and said he is sending troops to the border in case of attack.

Colombia's president, Alvaro Uribe, leaves office in a week. Mr Chavez said he hopes to resume ties with President-elect Juan Manuel Santos.


From Belfast Telegraph