Huffpost Media

CNN Reporter: We Were Held Up At Gunpoint

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A CNN crew experienced the violence in Venezuela firsthand when its equipment was taken at gunpoint.

Demonstrators took to the streets in Caracas to protest the government and President Nicolás Maduro beginning in January. The arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo López on Tuesday has fueled even greater tension this week.

Reporting from Caracas on Wednesday, CNN correspondent Karl Penhaul described what the environment has been like. He said that he witnessed "armed thugs" charge a group of anti-government protesters last night, and then turn on his crew:

"The men on motorcycles rounded on us, the next thing I knew I was staring down the barrel of a chrome-plated nine-millimeter pistol and three armed men then proceeded to rob our crew of all the camera gear, all the transmission gear as well."

He added that a member of the National Guard — whose forces saw what happened to his crew — said that the armed men may have been plainclothes police officers.

Outbreaks of violence around the world have put journalists at increased risk this week. Kiev has also been roiled by protests, resulting in the death of at least one journalist and attacks on dozens of other members of the media.

(h/t Mediaite)