Tuesday 25 June, 2019

Venezuela's Maduro calls for military unity after clashes

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center left, poses for a photo with troops at Fort Tiuna, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, May 2, 2019. Flanked by commanders, Maduro said Thursday that the military must be prepared to combat "traitors", two days after opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for the military to turn against Maduro. (Jhonn Zerpa/Miraflores Press Office via AP)

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center left, poses for a photo with troops at Fort Tiuna, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, May 2, 2019. Flanked by commanders, Maduro said Thursday that the military must be prepared to combat "traitors", two days after opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for the military to turn against Maduro. (Jhonn Zerpa/Miraflores Press Office via AP)

Flanked by uniformed commanders, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday urged the armed forces to combat "traitors" as he sought to project strength after opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for a military uprising two days earlier.

Speaking at Fort Tiuna, a military base in Caracas, Maduro also said the opposition had sought to provoke bloodshed in Caracas with Guaidó's call, which failed to push Venezuela's military into rebellion but was followed by deadly clashes between protesters and police in cities across the country.

At least four people died after being shot during protests on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, a human rights group. The dead included two people who were shot in the city of La Victoria and two others killed in Caracas.

One of those hit by gunfire, 16-year-old Yosner Graterol, died of his injuries on Thursday morning, the human rights group said.

Activists say at least 230 people were injured and 205 were detained during the clashes between protesters and police.

The streets of the capital were calm on Thursday.

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