Venezuela opposition figures wounded as anti-govt demos intensify

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CARACAS: Two leading Venezuelan opposition figures were wounded in anti-government protests on Monday, as demonstrators vowed to intensify pressure on President Nicolas Maduro and against his plans to hold a constitutional assembly. Henrique Capriles, a former opposition presidential candidate, said he and his team were beaten by National Guard troops as they left a rally that had been broken up by tear gas. “They cornered us, they beat us. They robbed us all. They took my team’s watches, radios, gas masks. When I asked them ‘What’s wrong with you?’ their reaction was to give me a blow to the face. Did they want to kill us?” he told reporters. Separately, lawmaker Carlos Paparoni was wounded when he was struck on the head by a tear gas canister. Protesters wearing masks and helmets hurled stones and fuel bombs at riot police as they tried to march downtown along a major highway in Caracas toward the government ombudsman’s office. Police, who were blocking the road, responded by firing tear gas, water cannon and buckshot.

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