Thousands of students protesting Venezuela's disputed election are facing off with National Troops on a highway in the capital.

The university students are chanting anti-government slogans and yelling for others to join their protest.

Soldiers in riot gear are preventing the students from continuing their march down the highway toward the west of Caracas, where most of the government is headquartered.

There is heightened security across the capital. The National Guard has parked armored vehicles in a central plaza and police in riot gear are standing guard at other points.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has challenged his narrow loss to acting President Nicolas Maduro in Sunday's election to replace the deceased Hugo Chavez.

The newspaper Ultimas Noticias, meanwhile, is reporting clashes in western Barinas state between police and protesters.