CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan authorities say gunmen assaulted an army patrol in an eastern area where illegal mining has become increasingly common, and 11 of the attackers were killed and one soldier was wounded in the gunbattle.

Officials said Tuesday that the soldiers were patrolling in a remote part of Bolivar province when they were ambushed Sunday.

Lawmaker Americo de Grazia says the opposition-controlled National Assembly is opening an inquiry. He says the men killed included illegal mine workers.

Seventeen miners were killed by a paramilitary group last year at a mine near the site of Sunday’s clash.

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