2 Killed, 18 Hurt As Troops Storm Venezuela Prison
Thousands of National Guard troops stormed a Venezuelan prison Friday seeking to disarm inmates days after a bloody riot, setting off gunfights with resisting inmates that left at least two soldiers dead and 18 wounded.
Bursts of gunfire erupted inside the El Rodeo I prison while hundreds of inmates’ relatives wept desperately outside, some of them shouting, “Help them!”
Troops used tear gas and a water cannon to keep the relatives back from the prison as ambulances emerged to carry out the wounded.
Vice President Elias Jaua said one National Guard soldier died and 19 were wounded. Information Minister Andres Izarra said later on Twitter that another National Guard soldier had died.
Officials did not mention any casualties among the inmates.
“Part of those who are incarcerated have resisted,” Deputy Justice Minister Nestor Reverol told state television, saying that some of the troops were shot with high-powered weapons. He said they were in a prison tower and had refused to come down.