Venezuela Troops Wage War on Rioting Prisoners
Clashes enter 5th day
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2011 3:41 AM CDT
Streams of tear gas fired by national guardsmen fall over the El Rodeo prison complex.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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(Newser) – A 5,000-strong force of Venezuelan troops has been fighting for four days to regain control of a prison complex outside Caracas. Inmates, also heavily armed, say the troops have been attacking them with assault rifles and tear gas, AP reports. The country's justice minister says two soldiers and one inmate have been killed in the fighting, while the inmates say at least 17 people have been killed.

A riot elsewhere in the El Rodeo prison complex earlier this month left 22 people dead. Hundreds of women hoping for news of loved ones inside the prison have camped out on the access road leading to the prison. "I don't know if he's dead or alive," says one woman who hasn't heard from her husband since last week, when he told her inmates planned to surrender. "And when we try to ask, they just fire tear gas at us."
 

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