Two people were killed in Venezuela on Thursday, officials said, bringing the death toll to at least 20 in recent anti-government demonstrations.

A paramilitary policeman and a civilian were shot dead from a building near a barricade in the Los Ruices area of eastern Caracas, the attorney-general’s office said.

The civilian was part of a group of motorcycle taxi drivers who were clearing the streets of debris left by the latest protests in the district, Venezolana de Television reported online.

The shots were fired from a nearby building, the official statement said. VTB cited witnesses as saying the men clearing up were harassed, pelted with stones and shot at by “fascist groups.”

President Nicolas Maduro had called on his supporters to confront the protesters.

Also on Thursday, Mr. Maduro expelled the ambassador of Panama, a day after breaking off diplomatic relations for the country’s suggestion that the Organisation of American States (OAS) convene a special meeting over the persistent street demonstrations in Venezuela.

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