[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 19 November, 2004, 21:51 GMT
Bomb kills Venezuela prosecutor
A supporter of the late Venezuelan prosecutor Danilo Anderson cries during a protest outside the prosecutor's office in Caracas on Friday. Her poster reads "Impunity until when"
Government supporters have blamed the death on the opposition
A car bomb killed a state prosecutor pursuing a case against hundreds of opponents of President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, authorities have confirmed.

Interior Minister Jesse Chacon said tests confirmed Danilo Anderson died while driving in Caracas late Thursday.

Scores of protesters gathered in the capital to protest against the killing.

Government and opposition members have condemned the attack, which has sparked fears of a return to violence in the deeply polarised country.

Remote device

Forensic tests confirmed that the blackened body found in the four-wheel-drive vehicle was that of Mr Anderson, Mr Chacon said.

The double blast occurred at around midnight in the Los Chaguaramos neighbourhood.

"An explosive was placed on the vehicle, which was detonated by wireless remote control," Mr Chacon said.

I have no doubt that the country will react unanimously condemning this terrorist act
Pompeyo Marquez
Opposition leader
"There is no other way to describe this other than terrorism."

Hundreds of people gathered outside the state prosecutor's office in Caracas to protest the killing.

Mr Andersen had received death threats and was attacked in a shopping mall last month but managed to escape, officials said.

He had been preparing a case against about 400 opposition members, including politicians, lawyers and businessmen, accused of supporting a short-lived coup against Mr Chavez in 2002.

The prosecutor said recently he hoped to be able to file indictments soon.

Soldiers around the burnt-out wreckage of Danilo Anderson's car
Venezuela has been shaken by conflict, but car bombings are rare
Mr Andersen had been castigated by opposition members as being the instrument of Mr Chavez's political revenge on his opponents, Efe news agency reported.

The leader of the now-defunct opposition alliance, the Democratic Co-ordination, said he condemned the attack "totally and categorically".

"I have no doubt that the country will react unanimously condemning this terrorist act that has cost a person's life," Pompeyo Marquez was quoted as saying according to Efe.

But Mr Marquez also said the government did not have the "disposition" required to keep the country calm.

Meanwhile, some government supporters blamed the attack on the opposition while others suggested "international actors" might be involved.

Mr Chavez cancelled a visit to Costa Rica to attend an Ibero-American summit on Friday and it is unclear whether he will go ahead with a longer trip on Monday.

Chavez strengthened

Mr Chavez decisively won a referendum on his rule in August, and followed it with regional election victories that strengthened his grip on power.

The victories left his opposition, which accuses Mr Chavez of being authoritarian and corrupt, in disarray.

Mr Chavez linked Washington to the 2002 coup which saw him jailed for two days before a popular uprising and dissent within the armed forces saw him returned to power. Washington denies involvement.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific