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2 dead, over 400 arrested in Venezuelan protests

IANS  |  Caracas 

At least two persons have died in the anti-demonstrations in Venezuela that saw more than 400 people arrested, according to the country's Criminal Forum.

While some 57 persons have been injured on Wednesday said the Mayor of Caracas' Ramon Muchaco, Efe news reported from social media updates.

The demonstrators were attempting to approach the office of the Ombudsman to ask for the official's support in the process that was launched by the opposition-controlled Parliament against the Supreme Court magistrates who took over some legislative duties.

The two persons killed during the protests were a 17-year-old boy in Caracas and a 23-year-old woman in Tachira state, the local media and the public prosecutor's office said.

The Director of the Venezuelan Criminal Forum, Alfredo Romero, told EFE that the lawyers who were advising the arrested were constantly updating and verifying the figures in the capital as well as in the 23 states of Venezuela, as "too many cases had been registered in only one day."

Muchaco said that the hospitals in his jurisdiction were taking care of 57 people "from the demonstration," who tried unsuccessfully to reach the Ombudsman's Office in the centre of the Venezuelan capital here.

"Everyone is out of danger," Muchaco said on his Twitter account.

The two persons killed apparently were not participating in the demonstrations and were shot by unknown perpetrators, according to preliminary information.

Venezuela's Executive Vice President Tareck el Aissami rejected accusations by opposition groups who blamed the of Nicolas Maduro for the deaths.

After almost three weeks of anti-protests on the streets of Venezuela and coupled with Wednesday's figure, the current death toll has increased to eight, including one police officer.

Almost one thousand people have been arrested.

The police on Wednesday fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and block their marches.

The huge demonstration included thousands of opponents who assembled and marched from 26 separate spots around the capital to the Libertador district.

The Libertador district encompasses part of the capital's metro area's central and western zones and is the area where key buildings are located.

--IANS

in/

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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