At least 26 people were reported to have died and several others left with gunshot wounds during clashes that were recorded in two days between Venezuelan security forces and gangs that control poor neighbourhoods of Caracas, the country’s capital.
Of the 26 bodies removed from the clashes scenes by the government officials, 22 were said to be members of the suspected gang and four police officers.
As gathered, the clashes broke out two days before Saturday and that residents of the communities were forced to flee from their homes in other to avoid sustaining gunshot wounds during the face-off
The clashes saw the use of high-power rifles, tracer bullets, grenades, and drones with which the gangsters got an aerial view of the security forces.
As many as 2,500 officers were deployed to take one barrio, or slum called Cota 905. Authorities offered a reward of $500,000 for the gang boss that runs it.
After the clashes, it was learnt that the law enforcement officers seized 24,000 rounds of ammunition, three rocket launchers, five rifles, four submachine guns, and several handguns.
Announcing the death toll, the country’s Interior Minister, Carmen Melendez, said that an unspecified number of non-combatants died and 28 people were wounded, 18 of them bystanders, adding we confiscated a military arsenal for war.
It would be recalled that last month, similar clashes occurred and at least three people including a nurse who fell victim to a stray bullet, died.
In 2020, the country registered 12,000 violent deaths, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory. This is a rate of 45.6 per 100,000 inhabitants — seven times higher than the global average.