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story.lead_photo.caption Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido greets support- ers Sunday after attending Mass in Caracas. Guaido, whom the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela’s rightful leader, urged his country’s military to use caution in a dispute with doctors over humanitarian aid. President Nicolas Maduro has vowed not to let the supplies be accepted.

Venezuela bridgeblock protested

CUCUTA, Colombia -- Venezuelan doctors protested Sunday at the entrance to a bridge blocked by their nation's military to demand that humanitarian aid be allowed to enter.

Carrying a giant Venezuelan flag, about two dozen doctors in white coats called on the military to remove a tanker and two cargo containers blocking the Tienditas International Bridge where humanitarian aid provided by the United States is being stored.

The doctors protested on the Colombia side of the border, saying they would face repercussions for holding a similar demonstration on the Venezuelan side.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, the leader of the National Assembly who is recognized by four dozen nations as Venezuela's rightful president, on Sunday urged the military to think carefully about how they will proceed.

"It depends on you," he said to the military. "We're not talking between the lines. We're talking clearly and decisively, giving an order to the armed forces: To allow the aid in."

President Nicolas Maduro has vowed not to let the supplies pass, saying Venezuela isn't a nation of beggars.

Bulgaria examines2015 poison case

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgaria plans to investigate reports that a third suspect in the nerve agent poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England allegedly was involved in a 2015 poisoning in Bulgaria, a Bulgarian party official said Sunday.

Tsvetan Tsvetanov of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party said the probe was being coordinated with foreign partners.

"I am certain that the necessary coordination has already been set up between the Bulgarian, British and European authorities on the case and they are working actively on it," Tsvetanov said.

Investigative group Bellingcat has reported an alleged Russian military intelligence agent arrived in Bulgaria in April 2015, a few days before Bulgarian businessman Emilian Gebrev was poisoned by an unidentified substance. Gebrev, an arms industry executive, survived.

Bellingcat said on its website the 45-year-old Russian agent traveled under the alias Sergei Vyacheslavovich Fedotov.

Bellingcat said Fedotov also was suspected of being involved in the Novichok nerve-agent poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury. He arrived in Britain two days before the March 2018 attack.

Syrian forces take41 ISIS positions

BEIRUT -- U.S.-backed Syrian forces captured 41 positions held by Islamic State group militants and destroyed their fortifications in the last tiny pocket they hold in eastern Syria, a spokesman said Sunday.

Mustafa Bali said the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces made the advances overnight and on Sunday, hours after they launched a final push to clear the area from Islamic State militants Saturday night.

The final battle to clear the village of Baghouz is now playing out after 20,000 civilians were evacuated from the area in the eastern province of Deir-el-Zour over the past few weeks.

Bali said heavy fighting was going on inside Baghouz on Sunday, adding that an Islamic State counterattack was foiled early in the day. He did not say how long the battle was expected to last. U.S.-led coalition warplanes are giving cover to advancing Syrian Democratic Forces fighters.

President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday that the Islamic State group will lose by this week all the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

A Section on 02/11/2019

Print Headline: Venezuela bridge block protested Bulgaria examines 2015 poison case Syrian forces take 41 ISIS positions

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