At least 12 people are killed in Venezuela after a night of rioting and looting in Caracas
At least 12 people were killed overnight following looting and violence in Venezuela's capital amid a spiraling political crisis, authorities said Friday.
Most of the deaths took place in El Valle, a working class neighborhood near Caracas' biggest military base where opposition leaders said a group of people were hit with an electrical current while trying to loot a bakery protected by an electric fence.
Two days of massive protests on the streets of Caracas against the government of President Nicolas Maduro spilled into a violent night in several parts of the city, with residents in El Valle witnessing repetitive gunfire and more than a dozen businesses looted.
Opposition leaders blamed the government for repressing protesters with tear gas but standing idly by as businesses were looted.
Earlier Friday, officials reported that one of the dead was Mervins Guitian. The young Venezuelan man was fatally shot when he was returning home late from work on Thursday and got caught in the middle of late-night street clashes.
Overall, at least 20 people have been killed in three weeks of protests. Opposition members say they do not intend to ease up on demonstrations demanding new elections as they decry a government they deem a dictatorship responsible for triple-digit inflation, rising crime and food shortages.
The next planned protest is Saturday, when opponents are being asked to dress in white and march silently to commemorate the victims of the demonstration. There's also a sit-in to block major highways planned for Monday.