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    A Bolivarian National Guard officer speaks by cellphone near the stairs of the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017

    Opposition Candidate for Venezuela's Assembly Killed Hours Before Election

    © AP Photo/ Fernando Llano
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    A candidate for Venezuela's Constituent Assembly was killed on Sunday hours before the assembly election in the country started.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — An opposition candidate, who was going to become a member of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly was killed at his home overnight, the Venezuelan Prosecutor General's Office said Sunday, the day of the assembly election in the country.

    "Public prosecution office number 4 in the city of Ciudad Bolivar is investigating the death of lawyer Jose Felix Pineda (39 years old), which happened on Saturday night. A group of people broke into his house and shot him several times," the Prosecutor General's Office said on Twitter.

    The election to the Constituent Assembly is taking place in Venezuela on Sunday. The body will be tasked with preparing a new constitution for the country.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced his decision to convene the National Constituent Assembly in early May, claiming it would bring peace to the South American country hit by months of violent protests. But his opponents feared it would allow him to bypass the opposition-controlled parliament.

    The election comes amid protests that erupted across Venezuela in early April and have since claimed the lives of over 110 people. They followed an unsuccessful attempt of the Venezuelan Supreme Court to absorb the legislative power of the National Assembly, which currently under control of the opposition.

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