CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Venezuela's political crisis (all times local):
The government of Miranda state has confirmed that a police officer was shot and killed on the Pan-American Highway southwest of Venezuela's capital, Caracas.
Miguel Mederico, press chief for police in Miranda, said the officer was "shot in the abdomen" and died in a nearby clinic. He said two other police officers were injured in the "attack" carried out by unidentified gunmen who opened fire from nearby businesses. He said that two suspects have been detained.
Venezuela's Interior minister Nestor Reverol said the police officer died "trying to disperse" an opposition protest without providing more details.
Tens of thousands of protesters have filled major thoroughfares and plazas across the Venezuelan capital, shutting down key parts of the city.
The protesters also are gathering in other major Venezuelan cities to demand the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro's and to show support for opposition leaders.
Local media have reported clashes with police and tear gassing in provincial capitals. Some protesters say they've been unable to get to Caracas because the government shut down roads and metro stations.
Government supporters also have staged a much small protest in the heart of the city.
Masses of Venezuelans are donning white and taking to the streets to demand the end of the socialist administration that opposition leaders say has become a dictatorship.
Some schools and shops are shut in Caracas and ahead of an expected major rally in the capital. Opposition figures say turnout is expected to rival a Sept. 1 rally that drew hundreds of thousands into the street to demand that a recall campaign against President Nicolas Maduro be allowed to proceed.
Authorities suspended that recall effort last week, citing allegations of fraud in early stages of signature gathering. That effectively ended the opposition's chances of ousting Maduro through democratic means, and has led to an escalating political crisis.
On Tuesday, the opposition-controlled congress opened a political trial against Maduro for breaking the constitutional order.