Demonstrators clashed with riot police in Caracas on Thursday after a march against the arrest of two opposition mayors accused of failing to stop violence in protests that have rocked Venezuela.

Some 3,000 people had rallied against the Socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro before a subgroup of protesters threw rocks at police who responded with tear gas and water cannons.

Mr. Maduro’s government has been the target of near daily protests fuelled by public anger over soaring crime, hyperinflation, shortages of such basic goods as toilet paper and further stoked by heavy-handed police tactics.

The President, who succeeded late Leftist leader Hugo Chavez last year, has combined calls for dialogue with a hard stance against opposition rivals and demonstrators.

After authorities arrested the mayors of the cities of San Cristobal and San Diego, Mr. Maduro warned that their colleague in Chacao could be next if more barricades are built in his streets.

The United States voiced deep concern over the two mayors’ arrests.

— AFP