CARACAS – Armed supporters of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro have stormed the National Assembly in Caracas and beaten opposition lawmakers and assembly staff with metal pipes and stones leaving several injured including legislators, international media reported.
The attack, which happened when Venezuela’s independence day was being marked, is apparently result of opposition lawmakers’ denial to vote for authorising a new constitutional convention on July 30.
According to opposition, Maduro seeks to have stronger grip through a Constituent Assembly, a superbody that will be elected at the end of July.
In such kind of violent protests since late March, at least 91 persons have lost their lives and 2,500 injured.
On Wednesday, a crowd gathered outside the National Assembly in downtown Caracas, chanting slogans in favor of Maduro when several dozen armed people entered into the building and attacked opposition lawmakers with metal pipes, sticks and stones.
Several lawmakers were stumbling and dazing bloodied in corridors of the assembly after getting hit by attackers.
Slamming the attack by supporters of government, National Assembly president Julio Borges said that over 350 persons, including politicians, journalists and guests gathered to attend the Independence Day session were trapped inside the building.
He further said, “There are bullets, cars destroyed including mine, blood stains around the (congress) palace,” he told reporters. “The violence in Venezuela has a name and surname: Nicolas Maduro.”
On the other hand, President Maduro while speaking at a military parade for Independence Day denounced the “strange” violence in the assembly and ordered an investigation of the incident.
“I want peace for Venezuela,” Maduro said. “I don’t accept violence from anyone.”