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Venezuela forces take opposition protest plaza

Published on Mar 18, 2014 7:45 AM
Demonstrators hold signs reading GNB don't stand in front of me, stand by my side and shake the Cuban in front of National Guard members at opposition stronghold Altamira square in Caracas on March 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

CARACAS (AFP) - Venezuela's authorities deployed hundreds of security forces, including troops in combat gear, into an opposition stronghold on Monday, March 17, 2014, to stamp out protests against the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro.

The show of force came as the death toll from a month and a half of protests rose to 29 Monday, after a National Guard captain shot one day earlier during a protest in the city of Maracay died.

Government forces quickly established control after moving into the area around the Plaza Altamira, a focal point of nightly clashes in eastern Caracas between masked protesters and security forces.

The government described the operation as a "liberation" of the neighbourhood, an area of middle and upper income residences and small businesses called Chacao.

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