Venezuela death toll hits 40 as teen dies

2017-05-16 19:04
A demonstrator holds a sign that reads "Free Venezuela" during national protests against President Nicolas Maduro. (Fernando Llano, AP)

A demonstrator holds a sign that reads "Free Venezuela" during national protests against President Nicolas Maduro. (Fernando Llano, AP)

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Caracas - A 17-year-old boy has died in Venezuela after being shot during anti-government protests, prosecutors say, bringing to 40 the number of people killed in six weeks of unrest.

The boy died after being shot in the head during a demonstration in the western town of Pedraza, the public prosecution service said in a statement.

He was at the scene of a demonstration "when suddenly a group of people arrived and fired several shots, wounding the young man in the head", it said.

Monday saw the latest in weeks of violent clashes as opponents mounted fresh demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro.

The government and the opposition have accused each other of sending armed groups to sow violence in the protests.

'Terrorist' acts

Police have fired teargas and protesters have hurled rocks and petrol bombs in a near daily series of clashes since April 1.

The centre-right opposition blames elected socialist leader Maduro for an economic crisis that has caused severe shortages of food and medicine.

It wants early elections to remove him from office.

Maduro has vowed general elections will take place as scheduled in late 2018 but not before.

He has accused the opposition of mounting an "armed insurgency" and "terrorist acts" against him with US backing.

Read more on:    nicolas maduro  |  venezuela

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