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Protests broken up in Venezuela

February 15, 2014

Security forces in Venezuela have deployed tear gas and water canon to break up a student protest in the capital, Caracas. The clash comes two days after three people died in violence at anti-government rallies.

Venezuela, Unrest, Protests, 13.02.2014
Image: Reuters

Some 500 students blocked the main highway in Caracas on Friday, choking off traffic for several hours. Venezuelan security forces deployed tear gas and water cannon to clear the protesters, who responded by throwing rocks and burning trash. So far, no injuries have been reported.

Venezuela's latest unrest began 10 days ago when students in Caracas rallied to protest against the government's handling of public safety and the economy. Venezuela suffers from rampant crime, inflation and shortages of basic goods.

On Wednesday, the demonstrations turned bloody when three people were shot dead during clashes (pictured above) between security forces and protesters in the capital.

Twitter said on Friday that the Venezuelan government had blocked people from sharing videos and images of the unrest on its social media service.

The San Francisco-based company went on to say that protesters could get around the government filter by having their tweets delivered to smartphones via text message.

Some of the protesters have called for President Nicolas Maduro to step down. While some politicians have come out in support of the protestors, opposition leader Henrique Capriles has said that the conditions are not right for Maduro to leave office. Capriles was defeated by Maduro, the successor to the late Hugo Chavez, in last year's presidential election.

President Maduro has accused the protesters of trying to overthrow his government.

slk/crh (AP, AFP)