One dead in Venezuela looting

Caracas, Aug 1 (IANS) One person was killed and over 60 were arrested after hundreds of people looted a supermarket in Venezuela, a media report said on Saturday.

Hundreds of people, who were out shopping for scarce goods such as milk, rice and corn flour, broke into a supermarket, while others destroyed a government bus and nearby shops in Venezuela’s San Felix city on Friday, Xinhua reported.

It was a planned act, sponsored by hardline right-wing sectors, said President Nicolas Maduro.

He called on people to be alert against such events, saying a special security operation would be carried out in the region to “wipe out” mercenaries.

State Governor Francisco Rangel of the ruling Socialist Party, too, said the looting was politically-motivated.

Gustavo Patinez, a 21-year-old local vendor, died of a gunshot wound to his chest, reported local newspaper Correo del Caroni.

Shortage of basic staples have been a regular feature in the country since last year, and long queues have caused tempers to flare at supermarkets and grocery stores.

Maduro laid the blame on opposition leaders and businessmen, accusing them of launching an “economic war” against his government by raising prices and hoarding goods.

 

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