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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 23 November, 2014

Man allegedly ‘raped with gun’ after arrest in Venezuela protests

The death toll has risen to eight with 137 wounded and more than 100 people detained in the protests.

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A demonstrator wearing a Venezuelan flag adds to a burning barricade in the Altamira neighbourhood of Caracas (Image: Rodrigo Abd/AP/PA).

INVESTIGATORS IN VENEZUELA are examining the case of a young man who was allegedly “raped with a gun” after being detained in the capital of Carabobo, Valentia.

At least eight people have been killed, 137 wounded and more than 100 detained in the protests shaking the country, officials said today, confirming a jump in the death toll.

Four of the victims died in Caracas, three from gunshot wounds during a massive anti-government student and opposition protest on February 12 that led to clashes between protesters, security forces and illegal pro-government Chavista militias, Attorney General Luisa Ortega said.

“There are a total of 137 people injured and eight deaths,” she said on her radio show, noting that some of the deaths took place during incidents parallel to the protests.

Among the injured, 100 are civilians and the rest are from the security forces.

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Relatives and friends carry the coffin of Genesis Carmona (Image: Rodrigo Abd/AP/PA).

In the north-central state of Carabobo, a young beauty queen was shot in the head during opposition protests and a prosecutor died after crashing his car while trying to evade a roadblock set up by protesters.

Ortega also said a student was run over in the northeastern state of Sucre while protesting against the government, while a worker was shot from a building in north-central Lara while clearing debris from a street.

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(Image: Rodrigo Abd/AP/PA)

She said the deaths and other violence is being investigated and that there were currently 104 detainees, including 80 who were due to face prosecutors today and another 24 in custody.

The government today threatened to cut off gasoline supplies to areas hit by opposition protests that have spiraled into the biggest challenge to Nicolas Maduro since he became president last year.

“We will be obliged to suspend the supply of fuel to areas under fascist siege in order to preserve the security of all,” Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez warned on Twitter, in the latest move to squelch more than two weeks of growing anti-government demonstrations.

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Ramirez, who also heads the state oil company, provided no precise details on when or where gasoline supplies could be withheld.

But such a measure would add another hardship for residents already struggling with shortages of basic necessities, soaring inflation and rampant crime — grievances at the root of the escalating protests.

- © AFP 2014 with additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Read: UN calls for action over deaths in Venezuelan protests>

Read: Venezuela’s youth are abandoning their homeland, Ireland is their destination>

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