Maduro supporters storm Venezuela National Assembly
Venezuela’s opposition controlled National Assembly was stormed by about 100 government supporters, the supporters then beat up several lawmakers.
According to the witnesses the confrontation had come after an assembly session to mark the country’s Independence Day.
Military police which had been guarding the site had stood by as the intruders brandishing sticks and pipes broke in through the gate. A probe into the incident has been vowed by the government.
The speaker of the assembly has said that about 350 people had been besieged for hours.
According to Julio Borges who on Twitter said that 108 journalists, as well as students and visitors, were among those stuck inside.
Mr Borges also named five of the lawmakers injured. Some were taken away for medical treatment.
After the economic crisis of Venezuela, it has been shaken by often violent protests in recent months.
Deputy Armando Armas told reporters “This does not hurt as much as seeing every day how we are losing our country,” as he was taken in an ambulance, his head swathed in bloody bandages.
The US state department in a statement has condemned the violence, calling it “an assault on the democratic principles cherished by the men and women who struggled for Venezuela’s independence 206 years ago today.”
According to the witnesses several journalists and two assembly staff were also hurt.
According to a Venezuelan newspaper the attack was blamed on militias who are known as “colectivos” they said that the group had fired rockets and bangers as they forced their way in.
In the report of the newspaper it said that some of the deputies attacked “fell to the ground and were kicked.”
Photos and videos which were circulating on social media had showed that the victims of the assault with bleeding head wounds. At least one of the victims, which is believed to be deputy Americo De Grazia, was carried out on a stretcher.
Journalists present at the scene, said that the reporters were ordered to leave by the attackers, one of whom had a gun.
The violence unfolded while President Nicolás Maduro was giving a speech at a government-planned Independence Day military parade elsewhere in the capital.
Before the intruders rushed the building, Vice-President Tareck El Aissami made an impromptu appearance in the congress with the head of the armed forces, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, and ministers.