Belize-Guatemala border tension flares over teen killing

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GUATEMALA CITY: Tensions between Guatemala and Belize over a disputed border area rose sharply Thursday when Guatemala’s government accused Belize soldiers of killing a teenage boy on its territory. Belize rejected Guatemala’s “inflammatory” version of events and said its patrol had fired back in self-defense after coming under attack on its side of the border. The incident, which occurred late Wednesday near the Sarstoon River that forms Belize’s southern border with Guatemala, risks militarizing a dispute that has been simmering for decades. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales accused Belize of “cowardice” over the killing. In a recorded address to the nation, he said that, as of Thursday, Guatemalan forces would assert “strict protection for the sovereignty” of the border river.

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