Nine dead in Venezuela protests

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iol news 22 feb WRLD Venezuela Protests~14 AP A masked protester sprays a flammable substance on paper, igniting a barricade during an anti-government demonstration in the Altamira neighborhood of of Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Caracas - At least nine people have died in Venezuela in the wave of protests against the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro, officials said Friday.

At least 137 people have also been injured and 104 have been detained in the two weeks of protests, Attorney General Luisa Ortega said on a radio show.

The latest victim was a 29 year-old male who tried to cross a street blockaded by protesters on a motorcycle at nighttime, Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said on state VTV network.

In the darkness the rider did not see a cable that the protesters had strung up. He tripped, fell and slit his throat, Rodriguez said.

Five of the victims died in Caracas, including three from gunshot wounds during a massive February 12 anti-government rally that led to clashes between protesters, security forces and pro-government militias.

Among the injured, 100 are civilians and the rest are members of the security forces, Ortega said.

Fatalities include a beauty queen shot in the head during opposition protests in the north-central state of Carabobo.

Ortega said that of those detained, 80 are due to face prosecutors and another 24 have been jailed pending trial.

Investigators were looking into the case of a young man allegedly “raped with a gun” after being arrested in Carabobo's capital, Valencia, Ortega said.

Sapa-AFP



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