Venezuela troops seize police post

Clashes leave six hurt as opponents accuse Chavez of trying to undermine them.

    Protesters threw stones, bottles and
    Molotov cocktails at troops [AFP]

    The fighting broke out just before dawn on Wednesday morning when about 40 National Guard troops moved into the building, Elisio Guzman, director of the Miranda state police, said.

    Protesters later threw stones, bottles and Molotov cocktails at troops standing outside the police station.

    "We don't agree with the move to take out the state police," Abigail Landaneta, a 41-year-old teacher among the protesters, said.

    'Undermining opposition'

    Opposition officials have repeatedly said that Hugo Chavez, the president, and his administration of trying to take over their areas of control.

    Accusing the National Guard of acting like the "militia of a political party", Henrique Capriles, the Miranda state governor, said in a televised news conference that he held the interior minister responsible "because this is a premeditated plan".

    Capriles and Chavez's government have launched a series of verbal attacks on each other since the opposition politician defeated a ruling-party candidate in elections last year.

    Chavez's government has taken over airports, seaports, highways, hospitals and schools previously controlled by opposition governors and mayors who won elections last year.

    The seizures, according to Chavez, are part of a plan to improve public service and clamp down on corruption, but his opponents say it is aimed at undermining them.

    The government did not make an immediate response to Wednesday's takeover and clashes.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.