World

U.S. Embassy Officials Wounded In Venezuelan Nightclub Shooting

In this May 14, 2013 photo, Gen. Antonio Benavides, left, gives instructions to a soldiers during a security operation that is part of the "Secure Homeland" initiative in Petare, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of Caracas, Venezuela.  The murder rate doubled during the 14-year-rule of the late President Hugo Chavez as cheap access to guns and an ineffective justice system fed a culture of violence in slums like Petare, parts of which have become no-go zones for outsiders, including police. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

In this May 14, 2013 photo, Gen. Antonio Benavides, left, gives instructions to a soldiers during a security operation that is part of the "Secure Homeland" initiative in Petare, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of Caracas, Venezuela. The murder rate doubled during the 14-year-rule of the late President Hugo Chavez as cheap access to guns and an ineffective justice system fed a culture of violence in slums like Petare, parts of which have become no-go zones for outsiders, including police. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (AP2013)

A military attaché at the U.S. Embassy has been injured in a shooting outside a night club in Caracas, Venezuelan police officials said. 

The State Department said two U.S. officials were injured in the "incident" early Tuesday but gave few details.

The police official said that Roberto Ezequiel Rosas was shot in the right leg during an argument outside a night club in the Chacao district of Caracas. She said he was taken to a local hospital. His condition was not immediately clear.

The official spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to release the information publicly.

There was no information any suspects.

In Washington, State Department spokesman William Ostick confirmed that "two members of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas were injured during an incident early this morning."

"Medical staff inform(ed) us that their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening," Ostick said. "Embassy security and health unit personnel are at the hospital and have been in touch with the two individuals and their families."

The club is located in the basement of a shopping center in Chacao, an upper-middle-class neighborhood east of the city center.

An AP reporter who went to scene Tuesday saw no obvious signs of a shooting, though plain-clothes officers were investigating the area outside the night club. A sign saying "gun-free zone" and with a pistol crossed out was posted next to the entrance.

Crime is a serious problem for Venezuela, which has one of the world's highest murder rates.

Venezuela's government expelled two U.S. military attaches in March for allegedly talking to members of the country's armed forces. Washington responded by ejecting two Venezuelan diplomats.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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