Fighting between safety forces and armed gangs in Caracas has left 26 individuals useless, the Venezuelan authorities mentioned on Saturday.
The official loss of life toll comes after days of heavy gunfire in the capital that pressured residents to flee.
What is the most recent?
The loss of life toll contains 22 suspected gang members and 4 officers, Interior Minister Carmen Melendez mentioned on Saturday throughout a broadcast on state tv.
She mentioned 10 officers have been injured and that 28 civilians not believed to be gang members have been wounded — 18 of whom have been bystanders.
Melendez acknowledged that civilians have been killed as nicely, however she didn’t present a determine or additional particulars on their deaths.
Human rights activists reported 4 individuals have been killed by stray bullets in the violence this week.
What occurred in the clashes?
The violence started on Wednesday when gangs from the capital’s southwestern Cota 905 neighborhood have tried to increase their territory.
Officials deployed round 2,500 officers to Cota 905 in a bid to push again in opposition to the armed teams.
Melendez mentioned authorities seized three rocket launchers, 4 submachine weapons, 24,000 rounds of ammunition and quite a few handguns in the operation.
“We confiscated a military arsenal for war,” the inside minister mentioned.
The Venezuelan authorities additionally provided a $500,000 (€420,000) reward for info relating to the placement of gang leaders.
The gangs had reportedly acquired drones, grenades and high-power rifles.
Violence in Venezuela
The violence and police operation have been closely criticized by Venezuela’s political opposition, who’ve accused President Nicolas Maduro’s authorities of downplaying and overlaying up civilian deaths in police raids.
“While civilians and police were murdered, western Caracas lived in fear for two days, and Venezuelans are fleeing the conflict, the dictatorship put on a show,” opposition chief Juan Guaido mentioned.
Maduro claimed this week that the gangs have been financed from overseas. Vice President Delcy Rodriguez alleged that the gangs have been linked to some opposition members, however didn’t present proof.
Similar clashes between gangs and authorities in June left three individuals useless,
Venezuela has one of many highest charges of murder in the world. The Venezuelan Violence Observatory logged a violent loss of life fee of 45.6 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020 — placing it nicely above the 6.1 international common estimated by the United Nations.