Caracas : An 18-year-old man died in violent protests against embattled President Nicolas Maduro, prosecutors said. The young man’s death raised to 32 the number of people killed in a month of demonstrations against the socialist leader’s government and his plan to rewrite the constitution. Government forces used tear gas against demonstrators in las Mercedes, on Caracas’ east end, the prosecutor’s office said.

Clashes broke out after riot police blocked demonstrators from advancing toward state institutions in central Caracas, where Maduro addressed a rally of thousands of his supporters. The opposition accuses the elected president of maneuvering to strengthen his grip on power. He has for months been resisting calls for a vote on removing him from office as the oil-rich nation staggers under food shortages, a near- crippled state-run economy and one of the world’s highest inflation rates.   Clouds of grey smoke from tear gas canisters filled the air as police with riot shields and trucks advanced along a major avenue in the east of the capital.  Protesters hurled stones and set fire to barricades. Officers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to push them back. AFP

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