Gunfight Erupts in Venezuela
Aug. 09, 2002
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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ A gunfight erupted between supporters of President Hugo Chavez and police Thursday, wounding at least 15 people.
The gunfire came hours after the Supreme Court again voted to postpone a decision on whether four senior military officers should face trial for their role in an April 12-14 coup that briefly ousted Chavez.
Five of the wounded were police officers and the remainder were civilians, Caracas Secretary of Health Pedro Aristimuno said. Their conditions weren't immediately known.
One man, who identified himself as Jorge Antonio, said police opened fire on dozens of protesters marching toward the presidential palace. Authorities said protesters attacked police with bottles, crude firebombs and gunfire.
The Supreme Court voted 11-9 Thursday to reject a ruling by one magistrate that would have ordered a trial for two generals, an admiral and a vice admiral accused of threatening Chavez with violence to force him to step down, Supreme Court president Ivan Rincon said.
The court appointed another magistrate to rewrite the ruling within five days.
Military generals ousted and arrested Chavez a day after 18 people were shot to death during an opposition march. Loyal troops and widespread street protests swept Chavez back to power.