World Dozens of children evacuated from Caracas hospital amid unrest

11:06  21 april  2017
11:06  21 april  2017 Source:   AFP

5 dead in Venezuela protests as movement gains steam

  5 dead in Venezuela protests as movement gains steam Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets in wealthy eastern Caracas Thursday amid a tropical downpour to support a protest movement that is gaining steam even as it turns more deadly. Venezuela officials confirmed earlier in the day that a fifth person had died in the wave of anti-government protests now entering its third week.The public prosecutor's office says it will investigate the death of 36-year-old Miguel Colmenares. He was shot at a protest in the central city of Barquisimeto on Tuesday.Gruseny Calderon was killed during the same protest.

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A demonstrator is swamped by tear gas during clashes with riot police during a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas © Provided by AFP A demonstrator is swamped by tear gas during clashes with riot police during a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas

About 50 children were evacuated from a Caracas hospital Thursday which the Venezuelan government blamed on an attack by armed gangs but the opposition attributed to tear gas used to quell unrest.

As protests and looting continued into the night following another day of clashes between police and demonstrators in the capital, the government and opposition traded blows over the events at the maternity hospital.

"I denounce before the international community that armed gangs hired by the opposition attacked a maternity hospital with 54 children," Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez tweeted, noting that President Nicolas Maduro had ordered the hospital's evacuation.

Venezuelan forces use tear gas to block latest protest march

  Venezuelan forces use tear gas to block latest protest march Thousands of protesters marched again in Venezuela's capital Wednesday, with the rejuvenated anti-government movement showing no sign of letting up on political unrest that has been blamed for 29 deaths in recent weeks.The mass of demonstrators paraded through downtown Caracas in an attempt to deliver a message to the national ombudsman, whose job is to stand up for citizens' rights but who the opposition has tagged the "defender of the dictator." The march was stopped before reaching his office as state security forces unleashed tear gas on protesters on the city's main highway.

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But Freddy Guevara, an opposition leader, rejected the allegation, calling Rodriguez "irresponsible" and saying the evacuations were "the fault of tear gas bombs of your dictatorship."

Demonstrators have vowed not to flinch in their campaign to oust Maduro, despite three weeks of protest violence that has left eight people dead, including three on Wednesday.

Earlier Thursday police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up thousands of marchers as they reached a vital freeway in Caracas, then edged back slightly as masked protesters pelted them with stones and Molotov cocktails.

Protesters blame Maduro -- heir of the leftist "Bolivarian revolution" launched by the late Hugo Chavez in 1999 -- for an economic crisis marked by severe shortages of food, medicine and basic goods.

Maduro says the protests seeking to oust him are backed by the United States.

On Thursday, Maduro said the opposition was ready to begin a political dialogue, which his opponents denied.

Thousands of evacuated Syrians stuck as transfer stalls .
Thousands of Syrians evacuated from their besieged towns have spent the night on buses at an exchange point as a much criticized population transfer deal stalls, activists and residents said Saturday. Syrian state TV blamed the rebels for obstructing the deal, causing thousands of evacuees to be stuck in bus depots overnight. Syrian Red Crescent teams distributed meals for the restless evacuees, who had left their homes over 30 hours earlier.

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