Three die in protests over government vote in Venezuela

Three people have died in protests at a controversial vote that opposition leaders fear will trigger the end of democracy in Venezuela.

Two men died in Merida whilst a third, 30-year-old Ricardo Campos, was killed in a separate incident in Sucre.

Venezuelan Bolivarian National Guard officers detain a demonstrator during clashes at Altamira square in Caracas. Picture: AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

Leaders with the opposition Democratic Action party on Twitter identified Mr Campos as the group's youth secretary in Sucre, a state in northern Venezuela east of the nation's capital.

The deaths bring to at least 116 those killed in nearly four months of political upheaval.

Opinion polls say more than 70% of the country is opposed to Sunday's vote to select a constitutional assembly giving the government virtually unlimited powers.

In opposition-dominated eastern Caracas, riot police used tear gas to stop protesters from gathering for a march on the capital's main road.

At least three police were wounded when one of their motorcycles detonated in a powerful explosion.

After voting at dawn, President Nicolas Maduro called for international acceptance of what he called his government's fight against a violent opposition trying to sabotage his administration.

AP


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