CARACAS – Venezuela’s armed forces chief reported Tuesday the burning of nine buses in the northwestern state of Tachira, bordering Colombia.
“Terrorist attack leaves 9 public transportation units burned in Tachira, livelihood of humble families. Alert!” Gen. Vladimiro Padrino, the head of the armed forces’ Strategic Operational Command, wrote on Twitter.
He also posted a photograph in which the destroyed buses can be seen in a parking lot.
Padrino said that on April 22 the street protests that began in February against the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro moved into a new phase characterized by “selective attacks.”
The Maduro government has said that the protests that began on Feb. 12 are, in effect, an “ongoing coup d’etat.”
The first phase of the protests, the government said, included the setting up of now-removed barricades by residents of well-to-do neighborhoods outside their homes.
Several of the 41 people killed since the start of the protests were motorcyclists decapitated by wires strung across barricaded roads.
Twenty-seven of the victims were shot, including five people gunned down while trying to clear away the barricades.
The dead include both opponents and supporters of the government, as well as police and bystanders.
Of the 2,626 arrests made since Feb. 12, 180 people remain behind bars, authorities said last week. Among those still in custody are members of the security forces accused in connection with two of the deaths.