Boy killed during protest in southern Venezuela: police

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SAN FELIX, Venezuela (Reuters) - A youth was killed in the Venezuelan city of San Felix overnight when demonstrators protesting power and water outages partially burned a small police station, police said on Tuesday.

The boy was shot in the chest late on Monday and died in a hospital in San Felix, 650 km (400 miles) southeast of the capital of Caracas, the Bolivar state police said in a statement, without offering further details.

Four officers were detained in relation to the incident, the national investigative police known as CICPC said in a separate statement.

A Reuters witness late on Monday confirmed seeing a protest in the area over the lack of power and water.

“The police arrived and started shooting directly at the people,” said Yusleidys Rojas, 53, a homemaker. “When they called from the hospital to say the boy had died, the community was outraged and burned the police station.”

The Bolivar police said the boy was 12, while the CICPC said he was 13.

Residents of the oil-rich nation have increasingly objected to the steady decay of basic services including power and water, part of an economic crisis that has also created shortages of food and medicine, and driven millions to flee the country.

The Information Ministry did not reply to a request for comment.

Reporting by María Ramírez, writing by Brian Ellsworth, editing by G Crosse and James Dalgleish