Venezuela crisis in pictures (25.02.2019)

On Saturday, trucks laden with US food and medicine on the Colombian border repeatedly attempted to push past lines of troops but were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Two of the aid trucks went up in flames, which the opposition blamed on security forces and the government on “drugged-up protesters”.

The Brazilian border state of Roraima said the number of Venezuelans being treated for gunshot wounds rose to 18 from five in the past 24 hours; all 18 were in serious condition.

That was the result of constant gun battles, which included armed men without uniforms, throughout Saturday in the Venezuelan town of Santa Elena, near the border.

The Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a local crime monitoring group, said it had confirmed three deaths on Saturday, all in Santa Elena, and at least 295 injured across the country.

In the Venezuelan city of Urena on the border with Colombia, streets were still strewn with debris on Sunday, including the charred remains of a bus that had been set ablaze by protesters.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed on Sunday for “violence to be avoided at any cost” and said everyone should lower tensions and pursue efforts to avoid further escalation, according to his spokesman.

The European Union has also condemned the use of violence and armed civilian groups to block the entry of aid.

“We repudiate the use of irregular armed groups to intimidate civilians and lawmakers who have mobilized to distribute assistance,” said Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief.

Demonstrators push a bus that was torched during clashes with the Bolivarian National Guard in Urena, Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Venezuela’s National Guard fired tear gas on residents clearing a barricaded border bridge between Venezuela and Colombia on Saturday, heightening tensions over blocked humanitarian aid that opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring into the country over objections from President Nicolas Maduro.(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Venezuelans sit atop a semi-trailer, with national flags and white roses, accompanying U.S. humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela, in Cucuta, Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. The aid convoy is looking to transport nearly 200 metric tons of mostly U.S.-supplied emergency food and medical supplies into Venezuela, despite objections from President Nicolas Maduro. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
epa07391505 A wounded man is rescued during clashes between the Venezuelan police and protesters that occured at the SimÛn BolÌvar International Bridge, in C˙cuta, Colombia, on 23 February 2019. On Saturday, the Venezuelan Police prevented the passage of the humanitarian cordon that was intended to accompany from the Colombian city of C˙cuta several trucks with humanitarian aid to Venezuela through the SimÛn BolÌvar International Bridge. EPA-EFE/Ernesto Guzm·n Jr. ATTENTION EDITORS: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A man is detained during clashes with the Bolivarian National Guard in Urena, Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Venezuela’s National Guard fired tear gas on residents clearing a barricaded border bridge between Venezuela and Colombia on Saturday, heightening tensions over blocked humanitarian aid that opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring into the country over objections from President Nicolas Maduro. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
A demonstrator, left, falls after getting caught in a strand of barbed wire during clashes with the Bolivarian National Guard in Urena, Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Venezuela’s National Guard fired tear gas on residents clearing a barricaded border bridge between Venezuela and Colombia on Saturday, heightening tensions over blocked humanitarian aid that opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring into the country over objections from President Nicolas Maduro.(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
A demonstrators is given first aid after he was injured in the face during clashes with the Bolivarian National Guard in Urena, Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Venezuela’s National Guard fired tear gas on residents clearing a barricaded border bridge between Venezuela and Colombia on Saturday, heightening tensions over blocked humanitarian aid that opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring into the country over objections from President Nicolas Maduro. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
An officer of the Bolivarian National Guard fires his shotgun during clashes in Urena, Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Venezuela’s National Guard fired tear gas on residents clearing a barricaded border bridge between Venezuela and Colombia on Saturday, heightening tensions over blocked humanitarian aid that opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring into the country over objections from President Nicolas Maduro. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
A truck that was carrying humanitarian aid for Venezuela is seen on fire after clashes between opposition supporters and Venezuela’s security forces at Francisco de Paula Santander bridge on the border line between Colombia and Venezuela as seen from Cucuta, Colombia, February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello – RC1E989D8530
epaselect epa07390989 Venezuelan citizens riding in trucks, in Cucuta, Colombia, 23 February 2019. Hundreds of Venezuelans gathered today on the Colombian side of the Simon Bolivar international bridge that connects Cucuta with San Antonio, in the Venezuelan state of Tachira, to form a corridor that allows humanitarian aid to go to their country. EPA-EFE/MAURICIO DUENAS CASTANEDA