Venezuelan tanks plow through crowds as 2-month protest continues
Dramatic video shot by citizens on the ground show tanks marked ‘GNB’ (the Venezuelan National Guard), with their roofs on fire, plowing through a crowd of protesters in the Venezuelan capital Caracas.
Laura Rangel, a journalist who captured the moment on film, told Reuters three protesters were injured, one of them seriously.
At least one person was caught underneath a vehicle, NBC News confirmed.
Pedro Michelle Yammine Escobar, 22, is in serious condition at the intensive care unit of a hospital after suffering a rib fracture and internal bleeding following the tank collision, Rangel told Reuters.
WATCH: Venezuela on the brink as political crisis deepens
Videos also show water cannons spraying at crowds of protesters standing in the streets holding makeshift shields and signs.
Protesters are continuing to rally in a two-month long anti-government movement that shows no signs of stopping.
At the Central University of Venezuela, soldiers bathed hundreds of student protesters in tear gas. Many of the protesters stayed put, and medics in gas masks attended to others with bloodied faces and limbs.
Students from another university marched peacefully to deliver a petition to the office of the country’s Catholic bishops, asking the Pope to speak out against the violence and the government’s steps toward authoritarianism.
Gunfire erupted at a student gathering in El Tigre, a city southeast of Caracas, leaving Juan Lopez, 33, dead and three others injured, according to the chief prosecutor’s office. According to preliminary reports, an assailant fired at Lopez toward the end of the meeting and then fled on a motorcycle. Lopez was the president of a university federation.
The student leader’s death brought to at least 37 the number killed in Venezuela’s ongoing political turmoil.
Earlier Thursday, authorities announced a 38-year-old police officer in the central state of Carabobo had died of his injuries after being shot during a Wednesday protest that had hundreds of thousands of people on the street nationwide. A 17-year-old was also killed during the day’s protests.
Hundreds more have been wounded – no small matter in a country with crippling medical shortages. And more than 1,000 have been arrested.
Protesters are demanding immediate presidential elections. President Nicolas Maduro accuses the opposition of attempting a coup, and has responded with an initiative to rewrite the constitution.
© 2017 Thompson Reuters and the Canadian Press