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Venezuela: Violent protests in Chavez home state

  • APTOPIX-Venezuela-Election-9

    Demonstrators, one holding a poster of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, confront riot police from behind a burning barricade in the Altamira neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday.

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuela-Election-26

    Venezuelan National Guard soldiers and vehicles sit along a street near downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, April 15, 2013. Venezuela's government-friendly electoral council indicated Monday it would quickly certify the presidential victory of Hugo Chavez' hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro, apparently ignoring opposition demands for a recount in Sunday's tight race. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuela-Election-27

    Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, left, and his campaign director Carlos Ocariz greet supporters from the window of Capriles' campaign headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, April 15, 2013. Venezuela's government-friendly electoral council indicated Monday it would quickly certify the presidential victory of Hugo Chavez' hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro, apparently ignoring opposition demands for a recount in Sunday's tight race. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

APTOPIX-Venezuela-Election-9

Demonstrators, one holding a poster of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, confront riot police from behind a burning barricade in the Altamira neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

CARACAS, Venezuela— Violent protests have broken out in the provincial capital of the home state of the late President Hugo Chavez. Police have fired tear gas and plastic bullets at protesters demanding a recount of Sunday’s contested presidential election.

National Guard troops and police in riot gear turned back about 2,000 backers of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in the southwestern state of Barinas. Opposition leaders reported 30 arrests today. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Capriles’ supporters also protested in provincial capitals including Merida and Maracay, denouncing what they call the illegitimate victory of Chavez heir Nicolas Maduro.

In Caracas, Maduro said he would not permit an opposition march that Capriles called for Wednesday in the capital. His chief prosecutor, meanwhile, said seven people had been killed in protests.

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