Venezuela

Woman shot dead in Venezuela voting queue

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Media captionThe poll is taking place in the context of heightened tension and violence

At least one person has been shot dead while waiting to vote in an unofficial, opposition-organised referendum in Venezuela.

Men on motorbikes killed a woman and wounded three others in Caracas.

One news agency, Reuters, is reporting that two people died. Video from the scene showed people rushing away from the gunshots. Many fled to a church.

Venezuela is in crisis, and more than 100 people have died in political clashes since April.

Opposition spokesman Carlos Ocariz said of the shooting: “We lament this very much, with great pain.

“But it is just one of 2,030 voting centres.”

An official referendum will be held on 30 July over whether to accept a new assembly that would have the power to rewrite the constitution and to dissolve state institutions.

But critics say the new assembly could herald dictatorship.

Opposition politicians organised Sunday’s unofficial poll, held in improvised polling stations at theatres, sports grounds and roundabouts within Venezuela and in more than 100 countries around the world.

While is vote is only symbolic, BBC South America correspondent Katy Watson said the opposition hoped that a high turnout would heap pressure on the government.

As well as voting on the assembly, people are being asked whether they want fresh elections before Socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s term ends in 2018 and whether they want the armed forces to defend the current constitution.

Queues started to form early and there was a festive atmosphere in most places.

But President Nicolas Maduro…

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