Opposition candidate shot dead as voting begins in Venezuela

A leading candidate in Sunday’s assembly elections and an opposition activist have been killed in the South American nation of Venezuela.

The killings took place before voting started to elect a new assembly with powers to rewrite the constitution.

José Felix Pineda, a 39-year-old lawyer running in the election, was shot in his home on Saturday night local time, a senior Venezuelan minister said.

Ricardo Campos, a youth secretary with the opposition Acción Democrática party, was shot dead during a protest, the head of the national assembly said.

Venezuelan newspaper El Universal said two other men were also killed in protests. On the eve of the vote, protesters blocked roads in the capital in defiance of a ban on demonstrations.

The security forces have used armoured vehicles to dispel protesters in the Caracas district of El Paraíso amid the sound of gunfire, AFP says, citing local reports.

BBC