By Anggy Polanco and Carlos Ramirez
SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela (Reuters) - Two police officers were killed and four wounded on Tuesday in the western Venezuelan city of San Cristobal after they were hit by a bus driven by young men protesting a hike in public transport fares, according to government officials and Reuters witnesses.
Protesters hijacked a passenger bus from a nearby terminal and attempted to drive it through a police cordon to a university where about 70 demonstrators were rallying against a nationally decreed bus fare hike.
"We regret the loss of life of police officers who were carrying out their duties," state Governor Jose Vielma tweeted.
More than 1,000 protests were reported in the first two months of this year by the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict. The unrest has been driven by a deep recession, triple-digit inflation and scarcity of food, medicine and other necessities.
San Cristobal was the epicenter of nationwide anti-government protests in 2014 that left more than 40 people dead but failed to push President Nicolas Maduro from office.
(Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Richard Chang)