Pipe-wielding government supporters burst into Venezuela’s opposition-controlled congress on Wednesday, attacking lawmakers and journalists in the latest flare-up of violence during a political crisis, witnesses said.
By mid-afternoon, a crowd of roughly 100 people was still besieging the building, trapping people inside.
Some of the those outside brandished pistols and some shouted they would cut water and power supplies, witnesses said.
The crowd gathered from early outside the National Assembly building in downtown Caracas, chanting in favour of President Nicolas Maduro. By late morning, several dozen people ran past the gates with rudimentary weapons and went on the attack.
A video from social media shot from inside the National Assembly showed the pipe-wielding pro-government supporters beating and chasing lawmakers as well as National Assembly employees.
They reportedly injured at least three opposition lawmakers who stumbled bloodied and dazed around the assembly’s corridors while some journalists were also robbed, witnesses said.
The worst-hurt lawmaker, Federico De Grazia, was hit on the head, fell unconscious, and was eventually taken by stretcher to an ambulance.
His family later said he was out of critical condition and being stitched up.