• Venezuela opposition vows fresh protests despite deaths

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    CARACAS: Opponents of the Venezuelan government vowed fresh huge protests on Thursday, upping the ante in their bid to oust President Nicolas Maduro after a day of deadly clashes in the oil-rich but beleaguered nation. A 17-year-old boy and a 23-year-old woman died after being shot Wednesday during massive protests, and a soldier outside Caracas was said to have been killed, bringing to eight the number of people killed this month in a mounting political crisis. Riot police fired tear gas to force back stone-throwing demonstrators as hundreds of thousands of people fed up with food shortages and demanding elections joined protest marches in Caracas and several other cities. Thousands of Maduro’s supporters held a counter-rally in central Caracas. The opposition has accused Maduro of letting state forces and gangs of armed thugs violently repress demonstrators as he resists opposition pressure for him to quit. Despite Wednesday’s deadly violence, his opponents displayed their determination to ratchet up the pressure by calling for renewed protests on Thursday.

    AFP

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