Venezuelan Parliament attacked, several injured
Caracas, June 28: Armed civilian groups have attacked the Venezuelan Parliament building after a clash between lawmakers and the military police of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), opposition legislator Julio Borges has said.
The clash on Tuesday left at least two female members of parliament injured, Efe news quoted Borges as saying.
According to the National Assembly's Twitter account, opposition lawmaker Delsa Solorzano and several reporters were also injured.
As a result, the parliamentary session was interrupted. Borges then proceeded to talk with the officer responsible for the institution's security in order to resolve the conflict.
However, immediately groups of civilians entered through the doors of the National Assembly building, he said. These people launched fireworks rockets and other materials inside the House, according to some videos published on the social media.
The civilian groups have attacked the front of the building and threatened to enter "by force", the opposition said.
Lawmakers and workers currently remain locked inside the Parliament, the Chamber's press chief Alicia de La Rosa told Efe. Borges has blamed President Nicolas Maduro for the attack. He said: "Nicolas Maduro... said today that if the ballots are no use, then the violence will be, that if the ballots are no use, then the bullets will be."
Borges, however, said that the attack would give "more strength" to parliamentarians to continue fighting for "a democratic and free country".
Regarding the boxes from the National Election Council, he indicated that the lawmakers went to see what happened with them, since it was "irregular" to keep such contents in the Legislative building. However, the GNB forces did not allow the parliamentarians to have access to the boxes, Borges said, adding that the troops claimed that the boxes contain data on the validation of political parties.
Venezuela has been facing sociopolitical upheavals which have been exacerbated by waves of demonstrations, both against and in favour of the government, for three months.
Some of these demonstrations have become violent, leaving so far at least 75 people dead and about 1,500 injured, according to data from Venezuela's Prosecutor General's Office.