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Clashes follow Venezuela police raids on protest camps

Clashes follow Venezuela police raids on protest camps
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A police officer is reported to have been killed and several people injured in clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters in the Venezuelan capital Caracas.

It came amid public anger at a series of night raids by police on camps set up by students in protest at insecurity, crime and chronic economic instability.

The tents had been erected more than a month ago in front of the UN building and other parts of Caracas.

The previous night’s operation saw 243 people arrested, according to the authorities.

Since the wave of protests began against President Maduro’s government in early February, more than 40 people have been killed and 700 injured.

Despite Venezuela’s vast oil reserves there are shortages of basic goods and runaway inflation of over 60 percent.

The government has called protesters “fascists” who want to stage a coup, aided by the US.

The Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said there was evidence the camps were being used to plan “terrorist” acts, displaying weapons and drugs allegedly seized.

The raids came days after the pressure group Human Rights Watch accused Venezuela’s security forces of illegally detaining and torturing protesters.