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Dozens injured in Venezuela clashes

Dozens injured in Venezuela clashes
Military vehicles were filmed driving into demonstrators.
London, May 2 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 5/2/2019 1:20:35 PM IST

A woman was shot dead and dozens injured in the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Wednesday, in clashes between opposition supporters and pro-government forces.

According to BBC, tear gas and water cannon were fired by the military amid rival demonstrations.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for those responsible for the death of a 27-year-old woman to be found.

Meanwhile, Guaidó called for a series of strikes to force President Nicolás Maduro to relinquish power.

He urged public employees to act on Thursday, saying the stoppages would lead to a general strike.

Guaidó in January declared himself Venezuela’s interim leader, and he has been recognised by more than 50 countries including the US, UK and most Latin America nations.

But Maduro - who is backed by Russia, China and the leaders of Venezuela’s military - has refused to cede power.

The president dismissed suggestions he had been ready to flee the country and accused the US of directing an attempted coup. Those involved would be punished, he said.

On Wednesday, both pro- and anti-government supporters held demonstrations in Caracas that were initially peaceful.

There were reports of gunfire in the city, and a local NGO, the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, said a 27-year-old woman had been shot dead during a rally in the opposition stronghold of Altamira.

At least 46 people were injured in clashes between opposition supporters and the security forces.

Guaidó had earlier posted a video showing him with a number of men in military uniform. He said he had the support of “brave soldiers” in Caracas.

He urged Venezuelans to join them in the streets, and appeared alongside another opposition leader, Leopoldo López, who had been under house arrest after being found guilty of inciting violence during protests in 2014.

Spain’s government later said that López and his family had sought safety in their embassy, but said the opposition figure has not claimed political asylum.

Supporters on both sides gathered around the city throughout Tuesday, and there were clashes between Guaidó’s supporters and armed military vehicles.

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