University decries student attacks

Officials at Venezuela's largest university have called on President Nicolas Maduro to help protect students after masked pro-government vigilantes attacked a peaceful gathering on campus and injured seven people, report Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul for the Los Angeles Times.

They called the attack at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas a bid to quash opposition. Victor Marquez, president of the university's faculty association, said the attack on 3 April on a group of about 1,200 students was carried out by men armed with metal pipes and wooden rods, while members of the national guard stood by.

He and other university officials said it was an attempt to intimidate government opponents, and that the campus had been invaded by motorcycle-riding vigilantes at least 10 times since student-led protests began sweeping the country in early February. The university has become a rallying point for students and others to protest against Venezuela's high crime rate, food shortages and struggling economy.
Full report on the Los Angeles Times site