3 Killed at Anti-Government protests in Venezuela

 20 Apr 2017 - 11:05

3 Killed at Anti-Government protests in Venezuela
Demonstrators run away from tear gas canisters thrown by the police during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas on April 19, 2017. / AFP.


Caracas: At least three people have been killed in Venezuela in protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

A teenager in the capital Caracas and a woman in San Cristobal, near the Colombian border, were shot dead, the (BBC) reported.

A national guardsman was killed south of the capital.

Tens of thousands of people rallied to demand new presidential elections and the release of jailed opposition politicians, the BBC said, adding that Maduro accused the opposition of attacking police.

He also accused them of looting shops, saying that more than 30 arrests had been made. 

Supporters of the government held a rival rally in Caracas.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Henrique Capriles has called for further mass protests on Thursday.

The protests taking place across the country were expected to be the biggest in three years, putting extra pressure on President Maduro to negotiate with the opposition and find a way of easing the country's economic crisis.

Anti-government protesters have described it as Venezuela's "second independence day".

Elections are not due until 2019, but the opposition says the country is on the verge of collapse.

Venezuela has now seen weeks of clashes between demonstrators and police. The latest deaths bring the number killed to at least eight, with many more injured.