Paging Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Kevin Spacey, and Naomi Campbell:
Gunmen opened fire on students returning from a march Wednesday in which 80,000 people denounced President Hugo Chavez’s attempts to expand his power. At least eight people were injured, including one by gunfire, officials said.
Photographers for The Associated Press saw at least two gunmen — one wearing a ski mask and another covering his face with a T-shirt — firing handguns at the anti-Chavez crowd. Terrified students ran through the campus as ambulances arrived.
National Guard troops gathered outside the Central University of Venezuela, the nation’s largest and a center for opposition to Chavez’s government. Venezuelan law bars state security forces from entering the campus, but Luis Acuna, the minister of higher education, said they could be called in if the university requests them.
Antonio Rivero, director of Venezuela’s Civil Defense agency, told local Union Radio that at least eight people were injured, including one by gunfire, and that no one had been killed. Earlier, Rivero said he had been informed that one person had died in the violence.
The violence broke out after anti-Chavez demonstrators — led by university students — marched peacefully to the Supreme Court to protest constitutional changes that Venezuelans will consider in a December referendum.
Photo here. (hat tip – commenter William A.)