Venezuela death toll hits 29, protesters battle security forces

Venezuelan security forces fired scores of tear gas volleys and turned water cannons on protesters on a bridge in Caracas on Wednesday as the death toll from this month's anti-government unrest hit at least 29.

A 20-year-old male demonstrator died in those latest clashes in the capital after being hit by a gas canister, said officials of the city's eastern Chacao district.

Authorities also announced two new fatalities from clashes earlier this week: a 22-year-old who received various gunshot wounds at a protest in the city of Valencia, and a 28-year-old government supporter shot in the stomach in Tachira state.

"I want everything to end: the hunger, the murders, the corruption, all the ills we are suffering. We have to stay in the street until there is change. We are the majority," said student Ricardo Ropero, 20, at an anti-government march in Caracas.

Amid another day of nationwide opposition rallies, the worst trouble in Caracas on Wednesday occurred when National Guard troops and police blocked off a highway where several thousand peaceful demonstrators were marching downtown.

The latest data from pollster Datanalisis, cited by a client, showed Maduro's popularity edged up a couple of points to 24.1 percent in March, possibly due to the impact of subsidized food distribution bags known as

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