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Venezuelan policeman dies in clashes

Friday, May 09, 2014 - 01:45

May.9 - A policeman is shot dead in the Venezuelan capital Caracas after security forces broke up protest camps. Sarah Toms reports.

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Violent scenes after pre-dawn raids in the east of the capital Caracas. Security forces break up four student camps. Hundreds of demonstrators are forced onto the streets. Student activists set up barricades, throwing stones and petrol bombs, while police respond with tear gas. President Nicolas Maduro said a policeman was killed by a sniper and others were wounded. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, SAYING: "Three young members of the Bolivarian National Guard, 24-years-old each, were hit by three bullets. The young man who was killed by a protester, this murderer, sniper, shot Jorge Esteven Colina Tovar, 24-years-old, in the neck. We give our blessing to the Colina Tovar family." The government said 243 people were arrested, accusing them of using the camps to stage violent attacks. Police said they found weapons and mortars. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SANDRA SEGURA, RESIDENT OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD SAYING: "I heard the neighbours downstairs saying that they were arresting them all (the youth activists). I didn't see anything because the guard wanted to arrest anyone that got too close." For more than three months students -- joined by workers from all professions -- have been venting their fury. They're demanding Maduro's resignation, blaming him for soaring prices and food shortages. More than 40 people have been killed, and thousands more arrested since anti-government protests began. Troops may now have picked up the last remnants of the student camps but the protests are expected to continue for some time yet.

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Venezuelan policeman dies in clashes

Friday, May 09, 2014 - 01:45