08:17 GMT +328 May 2018
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    People stand in line to cast their votes at a polling station during an unofficial plebiscite against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's government and his plan to rewrite the constitution, in Caracas, Venezuela July 16, 2017

    At Least One Killed, Three Injured by Gunfire During Voting in Venezuela

    © REUTERS / Christian Veron
    Latin America
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    At least one person has been killed and three more injured while voting on an unofficial referendum on Venezuela's president on Sunday, according to reports.

    Opposition leaders in the country say two people were killed and four injured at a voting center in the Catia neighborhood of western Caracas. 

    The injuries occurred during voting on an unofficial referendum called by the country's opposition. The symbolic plebiscite asked voters' opinion on President Nicolas Maduro's plan for a controversial new elected body and a constitutional rewrite, measures he says are necessary to bring peace to the protest-wracked country, but which many decry as undemocratic.  

    The opposition reports that the deaths came at the hands of government-affiliated paramilitary members.

    Local reports say that two were killed when armed men of unknown affiliation drove on motorbikes through a crowd that had gathered near a church in Catia to vote and shot at random. 

    The Venezuelan Public Ministry reports that the death of 61-year-old Xiomara Escot and the injuries of three other people are under investigation. "Prosecutor's Office No. 124 is investigating the death of Xiomara Escot and the wounding of three people that occurred during the unlawful activities in Catia," the office said on Twitter. 

    Maduro has proposed creating a constituent assembly to help rewrite the country's constitution, which he says is needed to strengthen the country and help bring reconciliation. A body of 500 would be elected to take charge of the revision. The move has been criticized by the opposition and even some of his supporters.

    The president says the opposition's referendum on Sunday is illegal. 


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