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Bomb Explodes In Middle Of Police Motorcycle Convoy (Video)

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Seven police officers were injured after a bomb went off in the middle of a police motorcycle convoy on July 30 in Caracas, Venezuela (video below).

According to CNN, there was applause from protesters after the explosion, which left one officer on fire. He rolled around on the ground while other cops put out the flames.

Ramsey S. Monh, who filmed the explosion, said that police officers "grabbed three motorbikes from people who were standing there and put them on top of their motorcycles that were burning."

In addition to the explosion, National Guardsmen clashed with opposition protesters, while police doused crowds with tear gas.

The protesters were upset that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was holding a vote (election) to replace Venezuela's National Assembly with a Constituent Assembly that could rewrite the country's constitution.

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The U.S. State Department released a statement regarding Venezuela, notes The Guardian:

The United States stands by the people of Venezuela, and their constitutional representatives, in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy. We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the national constituent assembly as a result of today’s flawed election.

Many Venezuelans refused to take part in the vote, which protesters believe would make Venezuela a dictatorship.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles counted at least 14 deaths, while a prosecutor's office said six people were killed, including a National Guardsman.

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Jorge Rodriguez, leader of the ruling socialist party, insisted there was "not one death related to the voting process today."

The National Electoral Council asserted it was a "positive" election process despite widespread violence.

Maduro, who was the first to vote, asserted that he cast the "first vote for peace," but U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted: "Maduro’s sham election is another step toward dictatorship."

Argentina and Peru have indicated they will not recognize the voting results.

According to The Guardian, the new assembly would have almost unlimited powers and would convene within 72 hours of the election. Maduro and his allies promised to use the new assembly to remove the country's chief prosecutor, imprison opposition leaders and take constitutional immunity away from opposition lawmakers.

Maduro has only about a 20-point approval rating, according to polls, while 70 percent of the population says they do not want their constitution rewritten.

Maduro was elected in 2013, and has presided over the country's economic disaster that grew from the world's oil prices dropping. Maduro went on to attack social programs used by the poor and instituted price controls, which resulted in medicine and food shortages, staggering inflation and violent protests.

Sources: CNN, The Guardian / Photo credit: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Aaron Peterson via Wikimedia Commons, Denelson83/Wikimedia Commons, Minnesota National Guard/Flickr

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