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More Venezuela migrants cross into Brazil despite attacks
World | society | 13:10, 21 August 2018 | 1351

AKIPRESS.COM - The number of Venezuelans entering Brazil is rising, officials say, despite Saturday's attacks on makeshift migrant border camps.

A Brazilian army spokesman said about 900 Venezuelans were expected in the state of Rorarima on Monday, a steep rise in the daily average, BBC reported.

The numbers of people trying to flee Venezuela's economic collapse are stoking regional tensions.

There is fresh uncertainty following the issuing of new banknotes.

Banks and shops are due to reopen on Tuesday after a public holiday on Monday, when the left-wing government lopped five zeros off the bolívar and anchored it to a new virtual currency called the petro.

The government says the move is needed to tackle runaway inflation, but critics say it could lead to even more chaos.

Opposition groups have called for strikes and protests on Tuesday.

Extra security forces have been sent to the border with Venezuela following violence near the town of Pacaraima on Saturday.

The Roraima state government has asked the Supreme Court to temporarily halt the entry of migrants from Venezuela, saying social services were being overwhelmed.

However, Brazilian Security Minister Sergio Etchegoyen said closing the border was "unthinkable, because it is illegal".

He said the presence of military police at the border had improved the situation.

"There's tension, but there's no conflict," he added.

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