Seventeen killed in nightclub stampede in Venezuela

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At least 17 people were killed in a stampede at a nightclub in capital Caracas on Saturday morning after the explosion of a tear gas bomb, Venezuela's interior minister Nestor Luis Reverol said.

He also added that the victims died of suffocation or multiple trauma with eight of those killed younger than 18, while five people who were injured were taken to hospital for treatment.

Outside the club, several mismatched shoes, including a sandal with a puckered red lip decoration, lay on the sidewalk.

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Some of the victims were reported to have suffocated. "We send our condolences to the families", he said.

Local councillor, Jesus Armas, said the interior ministry should explain how a civilian was able to get hold of tear gas canisters which only security forces should have.

Reverol said authorities had arrested seven people and an investigation into the incident was ongoing.

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Authorities say non-governmental groups inflate figures to create paranoia and tarnish Maduro's socialist government.

Police have detained the owner of the club for "not guaranteeing adequate supervision and preventing the entry of any type of weapon".

One of those who lost their child was Nilson Guerra who told reporters: "All I know is my son is dead". No information on the owner's name, exact charges or current whereabouts was immediately provided. The father of an injured son told local media that he told him that the tear gas grenade had been thrown from the bathroom and that the establishment closed its doors after.

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"The kids couldn't leave", Mr Perdomo said.

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