CARACAS - Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on Friday declared a state of emergency along parts of the border with Colombia to restore order after a clash between smugglers and troops left three soldiers wounded.
The measure will remain in effect for 60 days in five municipalities of the Venezuelan state of Tachira
, where smugglers of gasoline and subsidized food products have increasingly clashed with security forces.
"This decree provides ample power to civil and military authorities to restore peace," he said in a ceremony broadcast on state television.
The decree suspends constitutional guarantees in those areas, except for guarantees relating to human rights.
Maduro on Wednesday closed two border crossings to Colombia
after a shootout left three soldiers injured, adding that they would be closed until further notice.
A contingent of 1,500 soldiers arrived Friday in the border area to join the 500 already stationed in the area, he said.
The two countries share a porous 2,219-kilometer (1,379 mile) border that is frequently traversed by smugglers and illegal armed groups.