Armed Man Opens Fire in Venezuelan Central Bank, Wounding Two

  • Bank chief says situation ‘under control,’ gunman subdued
  • Venezula government reported almost 18,000 murders in 2015

An armed man broke into Venezuela’s central bank Monday and exchanged gun fire with security forces before being subdued by police.

Central bank President Nelson Merentes said a man opened fire, wounding two national guardsmen before police were able to bring the situation under control. Merentes said there were no fatalities in the attack.

Local media earlier reported that an “irregular situation” was unfolding at the bank situated in downtown Caracas, with employees barricading themselves in their offices after an armed man entered the institution’s statistics department.

Venezuela ranks as one of the world’s most dangerous countries, registering nearly 18,000 homicides in 2015, the country’s public prosecutor, Luis Ortega Diaz, said earlier this year.

The country’s economy is in the grips of a deep recession amid triple-digit inflation and acute shortages of food and basic goods. At the same time, the opposition has mounted a drive to hold a recall referendum on the rule of President Nicolas Maduro in a bid to drive him from office.

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