Toll in Venezuela's violent protests rises to 34

Indo Asian News Service

Caracas, May 4 (IANS) The death toll in the violent Venezuelan protests has increased to 34 amid escalating tensions provoked by the government's call to rewrite the Constitution.

Thousands of protesters made their way to Parliament on Wednesday in Caracas and clashed with security forces that have been blocking roads and dispersing protests with tear gas and rubber bullets, Efe news reported.

The violence escalated as a group of demonstrators began throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.

The confrontation led to the death of a young man, who was shot dead, according to Interior Minister Nestor Reverol.

Authorities also said that more than 180 people were injured, including six Venezuelan MPs.

The opposition announced that it will remain on the streets until the constitutional order of the country is restored.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's initiative to elect a Constituent Assembly to reform the Constitution has been badly received by the opposition which claimed it was another attempt by the executive to hold onto power.

The proposal, legalised in the National Electoral Council on Wednesday by Maduro himself, has given new reasons for opponents to protest.

The Student Movement, which gathers opposition students from the largest and most important universities in the country, announced a round of new demonstrations in all educational institutions.

Maduro called the violence during and after the protests as "armed insurgency".

--IANS

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