Young man is 9th fatality in Venezuela protests this month

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Authorities in Venezuela say a young man has been shot and killed in a street protest, becoming the ninth person to die this month during demonstrations in the South American country.

Vicente Paez, a city council member, said Friday that victim Melvin Guitan was wounded in Petare community east of Caracas when he was struck by a bullet during a protest being broken up Thursday by National Guard members deploying tear gas. Guitan was taken to a hospital, where he died Thursday night.

Tens of thousands of people opposed to Venezuela's socialist government took to the streets that day in ongoing protests demanding elections and denouncing what they consider an increasingly authoritarian government. They were met by tear gas and rubber bullets as they tried to march to downtown Caracas.