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Venezuela: Civilians, soldiers fight military at army base, two killed

Venezuela: Civilians, soldiers fight military at army base, two killed

But events have been moving even faster since a controversial constituent assembly was sworn in on 4 August.

A small band of individuals, some civilian and some wearing military apparel and claiming to be from the army, briefly attacked a military base near Valencia.

They stole weapons and recorded a video of themselves.

Rocio San Miguel, who studies the military in Venezuela, said in posts to her Twitter account that Caguaripano had escaped to Colombia several years ago. "This is a civic and military action to re-establish the constitutional order". "But more than that, it is to save the country from total destruction".

Venezuela's military says it put down a rebellion at a key army base in Valencia, 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of the capital on Sunday, less than two days after the government appeared to ensure its indefinite rule by forming a legislative body loyal to President Nicolas Maduro. A significant number of those killed have been members of the security forces, as elements of the extreme right have employed increasingly violent methods.

Nearby residents who saw the dissident group's video online gathered around the military base chanting "Freedom!"

"We declare ourselves in rebellion united with the courageous Venezuelan people to reject the murderous tyranny of Nicolas Maduro".

"There is a very intense propaganda war going on in Venezuela at this time", reports Reeves.

For the opposition, news of the attack was a sign that there is internal dissent within the armed forces.

The opposition has denounced Maduro for dragging Venezuela towards dictatorship and has appealed to the military for help.

Seeing a video of uniformed men speaking of a "legitimate rebellion" raised the opposition's hopes that members of the rank and file were ready to switch sides. Other protests also emerged around Valencia into the afternoon.

The president of Venezuela has called for anti-government fighters who attacked an army base to receive the "maximum penalty".

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But the President is believed to still have the military's support, which he and his predecessor Mr Chavez worked hard to shore up.

Protesters took to the streets in support of the military insurrection، calling for other army units to rise up against the president.

Venezuela's chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega was sacked on Saturday.

It said it was taking over the assembly's role because it was in "contempt" of the law.

Stacked with Maduro supporters, the quasi parallel parliament also has the power to dissolve the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Maduro frequently refers to opposition leaders and protesters as "fascists".

President Maduro claims the new constituent assembly is meant to bring calm to a country that has seen months of violent unrest. "Fort Paramacay", Maduro said during a televised address on Sunday.

Ms Ortega, however, has refused to recognise the decision by the constituent assembly, which she says is illegal, and insists she continues to be Venezuela's chief prosecutor.

Meanwhile, influential politicians allied with the government have called for her to stand trial and the Supreme Court is now weighing up whether there are grounds to charge her for allegedly "violating public ethics".

On Sunday, Maduro announced that a new "truth commission" created by the assembly had been installed to impose justice on those fueling the unrest that has wracked the country since early April.

But critics say the current Supreme Court justices were named illegally by the ruling Socialist Party and rushed in before the Opposition took over the National Assembly.

One of the invaders was injured, seven captured and 10 got away, the embattled leader said.