Clashes between police, Caracas gang leave 26 dead, Venezuela says

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CARACAS: Clashes betwixt constabulary and a pack successful northwestern Caracas this week person near astatine slightest 26 dead, including 4 officers, and 38 radical injured, Venezuelan Interior Minister Carmen Melendez said connected Saturday (Jul 10).

The casualty number comes aft respective days of dense gunfire near immoderate superior residents fleeing their homes and snarled postulation successful respective neighborhoods, arsenic authorities successful the crime-stricken metropolis propulsion backmost connected what analysts picture arsenic a gang's effort to grow its territory beyond the Cota 905 barrio.

Melendez said 10 officers were injured successful the clashes and that 22 "criminals" died. She said immoderate 28 "civilians" - a notation to residents not suspected to beryllium pack members - were injured and that immoderate civilians died, though she did not specify however galore and did not supply further details.

Human rights activists said this week that 4 radical were killed by stray bullets during the clashes. Activists and the governmental absorption person for years accused President Nicolas Maduro's authorities of disregarding and covering up civilian casualties successful anti-crime raids.

They person besides criticised pacts the socialist authorities signed with immoderate gangs to make no-go areas for constabulary successful definite neighborhoods successful a bid to little violence, arguing the alleged "peace zones" allowed gangs to consolidate powerfulness and resources.

"While civilians and constabulary were murdered, occidental Caracas lived successful fearfulness for 2 days, and Venezuelans are fleeing the conflict, the dictatorship enactment connected a show," absorption person Juan Guaido said.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, speaking alongside Melendez connected authorities television, alleged the pack that controls Cota 905 was linked to immoderate absorption politicians, without providing evidence. She added that 3 alleged members of "Colombian paramilitary" groups were detained successful transportation to the raids.

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