Three More Killed in Venezuela as Clashes Persist

Demonstrators take part in an anti-government protest in the east of Caracas on March 12, 2014. Three people were shot dead Wednesday in Carabobo state, northern Venezuela, during protests, lifting the death toll to 25 since protests started a month ago. JUAN BARRETO / AFP - Getty Images

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/ Source: Reuters

Protesters battled soldiers in the streets of Caracas again on Wednesday as three more fatal shootings raised to 25 the death toll from a month of demonstrations against Venezuela's socialist government.

Both supporters and opponents of Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro took to the streets of the country's capital, Caracas, Wednesday to mark one month since the demonstrations started.

Students threw stones and petrol bombs while security forces fired teargas and turned water cannon on them.

A student takes part in a protest against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on Wednesday.Fernando Llano / AP

In central Carabobo state, a student, a middle-aged man and an army captain were shot dead in the latest fatalities from now-daily clashes around the South American nation of 29 million people.

Opposition activists blamed armed government supporters for shooting the student near his home in Valencia city, but the state governor said the shot came from snipers among protesters.

A 42-year-old man was killed during the same disturbances, shot while painting his house, the local mayor said.

In the third killing, an army captain died from a gunshot during a clash with "terrorist criminals," government officials said.

Maduro, a 51-year-old former bus driver who was elected last year to succeed the late Hugo Chavez, has declared victory over an attempted "coup" against him and does not look in danger of being toppled.

Students, though, are vowing to keep the protests going.

Protracted instability could bring more bloodshed and further weaken Venezuela's troubled economy.

— Reuters