— Venezuelan lawmakers who oppose President Nicolás Maduro were beaten and bloodied in the halls of congress Wednesday as a pro-government mob stormed the building, apparently facing little or no resistance from security guards.

The attack left at least 15 people injured, according to opposition leaders, including one lawmaker who was rushed to the hospital with broken ribs and a head wound.

Scenes of the melee shared on social media showed masked pro-Maduro assailants kicking and punching lawmakers in the chambers of congress and in the streets outside. Reporters inside the building were also attacked and robbed of their equipment.

The assault appeared to mark a dangerous new escalation of violence against opponents of the leftist government, although it was not the first time lawmakers have been bloodied by the pro-Maduro gangs, known as “colectivos.”

 

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