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Policeman shot dead during Venezuelan protests

Angry scenes as protesters clashed with police. Credit: Reuters

A policeman has been shot dead during protests in Venezuela.

Dozens were reported injured as thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in efforts to oust leftist leader Nicolas Maduro.

After launching a political trial against Maduro on in the National Assembly, the opposition coalition held nationwide marches dubbed "Takeover of Venezuela".

"This government is going to fall!" crowds chanted, many wearing white and waving national flags as they congregated at nearly 50 sites across the country.

A protester in chains. Credit: Reuters

Clashes occurred in several cities outside Caracas including the volatile western town of San Cristobal that was an epicenter of violence during 2014 anti-Maduro protests.

Maduro, the unpopular 53-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez, has presided over an unprecedented economic crisis.

He accuses the opposition of seeking a coup with US help and has vowed there will be no vote on his rule.


Venezuela steps up deportation of Colombians

Venezuela has ramped up a deportation programme for Colombians - in some cases separating children from their parents, Colombia's migration office has said.

Venezuela has stepped up its deportation programme for Colombians Credit: Reuters

President Nicolas Maduro closed two official border crossings between the two countries last week, following a shootout between an armed smuggling gang and troops which left three soldiers wounded.

He later declared a 60-day state of emergency in five regions near the border, saying Venezuela was a "victim" of "paramilitaries and the Colombian right".

Since then, 612 adult Colombian citizens and 139 minors have been returned to their native country.

While children cannot legally be deported, authorities have been describing their movements as "repatriations".

Colombia's Foreign Ministry has demanded guarantees that families will be kept together during the deportation process.


Chilean national killed in Venezuela protests

Anti-government protesters cover from teargas during a protest at Altamira square in Caracas. Credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo

A Chilean woman has been shot dead while clearing a barricade put up by anti-government protesters, the first foreign fatality during a month of civil unrest in Venezuela.

The death of Gisela Rubilar, 47, who was studying in the western Venezuelan city of Merida, brought to at least 21 the number of fatalities in five weeks of demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro's government.

"She was ambushed by extreme right-wing groups ... She was vilely murdered with a shot in the eye," Alexis Ramirez, the governor of Merida state, told reporters, blaming the killing on unidentified demonstrators in the Andean city.

Venezuela: Protesters clash with police in Caracas

Anti-government protesters run away from tear gas during a protest in Caracas. Credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo

Small groups of anti-government protests continued to clash with police on Saturday in Caracas as isolated incidents of violence continued to erupt throughout the day.

Venezuelan opposition sympathizers have been holding rowdy street protests for nearly a month to demand the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro. They accuse his government of using excessive force against demonstrators.

Maduro says the demonstrations are part of a Washington-backed plot to overthrow his government.

Ukraine's protesters show support for Venezuela

Ukraine and Venezuela have both experienced deadly clashes in the past few days.

In Kiev, situation moved rapidly with the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovich and a new leadership in place.

In Caracas, the barricades are still burning.

And although the two countries have little in common, opposition protesters from Ukraine are now showing support for their Venezuelan counterparts.

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