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Teenage boy killed in Venezuela food protest

Death is the fourth in recent days as protesters demand an end to chronic food shortages in the country.

A 17-year-old boy has died after being badly wounded at a protest by Venezuelans demanding food, authorities say.

Officials did not give details on the boy's injuries, which occurred on Tuesday night in the western town of Lagunilla, in Merida state in the Andes.

Local media reported he was shot in the head when police and soldiers clashed with demonstrators at the food protest, in which he was not taking part.

He was taken to the hospital, where he died on Wednesday morning. Eleven people were arrested over the violence, police said.

They included several minors allegedly caught with food and electronics from looted businesses.

President Nicolas Maduro faces mounting protests over shortages of food, medicine and electricity.

The leftist leader is fighting off opposition attempts to call a referendum on sacking him.

The South American oil producer is mired in an economic crisis brought on by the plunge in global crude prices over the past two years.

Also on Tuesday, the Venezuelan military deployed in the city of Cumana, which is the capital of Sucre state, and detained more than 400 people after street violence and looting over food shortages.

Local authorities said that the acts of what they called "vandalism" were inspired by a right-wing faction within the country's opposition.

At least four people have died in protests and looting crackdowns in recent days.


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