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Venezuela Death Toll Rises To 7 In Election Fallout Clashes

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Violent protests have broken out in the provincial capital of the home state of the late President Hugo Chavez. Police have fired tear gas and plastic bullets at protesters demanding a recount of Sunday's contested presidential election.

National Guard troops and police in riot gear turned back about 2,000 backers of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in the southwestern state of Barinas. Opposition leaders reported 30 arrests Tuesday. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Capriles' supporters also protested in provincial capitals including Merida and Maracay, denouncing what they call the illegitimate victory of Chavez heir Nicolas Maduro.

In Caracas, Maduro said he would not permit an opposition march that Capriles called for Wednesday in the capital. His chief prosecutor, meanwhile, said seven people had been killed in protests.

Prosecutor Luisa Ortega did not provide any details about the deaths or injuries, nor their location or date, or how they occurred.

She said the seven killed were humble members of the working class, a suggestion that the opposition might be to blame.

Maduro won the election by a margin of 50.8 percent to 49 percent over Capriles.

The United States said earlier Tuesday that it will not consider the election results valid unless the vote-by-vote recount demanded by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles is done.

Maduro is blaming Capriles for seven deaths that the government says occurred in post-election unrest.

The government has provided names of some people it says have been killed by opposition activists but has provided no evidence.

Also on The Huffington Post

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