Looters killed by electrocution in Venezuela - report

  • 22/04/2017
Venezuela protests
Protests in Caracas, Venezuela (Getty)

Eight people have been electrocuted during a looting incident in Caracas, amid violent protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The accident occurred on Friday when a group of looters broke into a bakery in the working class neighbourhood of El Valle, according to local firefighters, who asked not be identified. It was not immediately possible to confirm details of the incident with hospital or other officials.

The public prosecutor's office said later on Friday it was investigating 11 deaths in El Valle, adding that "some" victims had died from being electrocuted.

Nine other people have been killed in violence associated with a wave of anti-government demonstrations in the past three weeks in which protesters have clashed with security forces.

Dozens of businesses in the area showed signs of looting, ranging from empty shelves to broken windows and twisted metal entrance gates.

Venezuela protests

Mr Maduro's government is so far resisting the pressure of the most serious protests in three years, as opposition leaders push a series of political demands, drawing support from a public angered by the country's collapsing economy.

"This wounded and failed opposition is trying to generate chaos in key areas of the city and convince the world that we're in some sort of civil war, the same playbook used for Syria, for Libya and for Iraq," government official Freddy Bernal said.

The OPEC nation's economy has been in free-fall since the collapse of oil prices in 2014. The generous oil-financed welfare state created by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, Maduro's predecessor, has given way to a Soviet-style economy marked by consumer shortages, triple-digit inflation and snaking supermarket lines.