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  World   Americas  22 Apr 2017  Death toll in Venezuelan protests reaches nine

Death toll in Venezuelan protests reaches nine

AFP
Published : Apr 22, 2017, 1:22 am IST
Updated : Apr 22, 2017, 1:22 am IST

Man shot dead in Caracas as calls for Maduro’s resignation grow.

People try to revive a woman who fell unconscious due to inhaling tear gas during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo: AP)
 People try to revive a woman who fell unconscious due to inhaling tear gas during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo: AP)

Caracas: A man was fatally shot on Thursday night during a protest in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, an official said, as deadly unrest continued to roil the oil-rich nation.

“With much pain, I report the death by gunshot of Melvin Guaitan, humble neighborhood worker of Sucre municipality #Petare,” wrote Carlos Ocariz, mayor of Sucre municipality, a division of Caracas where the Petare neighbourhood is located.

“We demand that the culprits be investigated and punished!” added Mr Ocariz, who opposes the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Mr Ocariz did not elaborate on the details of the shooting: whether Guaitan was taking part in an opposition march or was perhaps just passing by, and whether the shooter was a civilian or a law enforcement officer.

Amid the chaos, 54 children were evacuated from a hospital in Petare. No details were available.

Eight other people have died in the last three weeks during anti-Maduro protests, which have virtually always ended in clashes between demonstrators and the authorities.

Unrest was reported on Thursday in several parts of Caracas, most seriously in the working-class neighbourhood of El Valle.

Businesses were attacked, streets blocked and barricades set afire as officers fired tear gas and water cannon.

Mr Maduro said the protests seeking to oust him are backed by the US.

“I don’t care if I inhale gas, I don’t care if I die. We have to put a stop to this murdering, repressing government,” said Natasha Borges, 17.

One protester, completely naked except for sneakers, walked up to police and shouted: “Please, stop gas-bombing us.”

Tags: nicolas maduro, tear gas, venezuelan