Venezuela probes murder of German tourist

CARACAS (AFP) - Venezuelan officials were on Saturday investigating the murder of an elderly German man who was shot dead on the Caribbean tourist island of Margarita.

Mr Goldhahm Hors Kurt, 76, was shot on Friday afternoon near a shopping mall "resulting in his immediate death," read a statement from office of the public prosecutor.

Local media reported that the victim, a passenger on a cruise ship, was shot during a robbery as he and other tourists shopped for handicrafts.

"Security forces are after the criminals," Tourism Minister Andres Izarra said on Twitter.

Venezuela has one of the world's highest murder rates, with 79 murders per 100,000 inhabitants last year, according to the non-profit Venezuelan Violence Monitor.

The Interior Ministry, however, estimates a lower murder rate of 39 homicides per 100,000.

Experts say that the low success in prosecuting violent crimes is a main cause of the crisis. About 92 per cent of murders go unsolved.