Eight electrocuted in Caracas looting amid Venezuela protests - firefighter

Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:23am GMT
 

By Eyanir Chinea and Efrain Otero

CARACAS (Reuters) - Eight people were electrocuted to death during a looting incident in Caracas, a firefighter said on Friday, amid violent protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by opponents accusing him of seeking to create a dictatorship.

The accident occurred when a group of looters broke into a bakery in the working class neighbourhood of El Valle, according the firefighter, who asked not be identified. It was not immediately possible to confirm details of the incident with hospital or other officials.

The public prosecutor's office said later on Friday it was investigating 11 deaths in El Valle, adding that "some" victims had died from being electrocuted.

Nine other people have been killed in violence associated with a wave of anti-government demonstrations in the past three weeks in which protesters have clashed with security forces in melees lasting well into the night.

"Yesterday around 9 or 10 (p.m.)things got pretty scary, a group of people carrying weapons came down ... and started looting," said Hane Mustafa, owner of a small supermarket in El Valle, where broken bottles of soy sauce and ketchup littered the floor between bare shelves.

"The security situation is not in the hands of the government. We lost everything here," said Mustafa, who said he could hear the looting from his home, which is adjacent to the store.

Dozens of businesses in the area showed signs of looting, ranging from empty shelves to broken windows and twisted metal entrance gates.

The Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for details.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: Police fire tear gas toward opposition supporters during clashes while rallying against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
 
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