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Venez. president launches search for those responsible for 3 dead in Valencia protests

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is calling on the National Guard to search the central city of Valencia for those responsible for a day of violence that left three dead.

Communications Minister Delcy Rodriguez sent a Twitter message Thursday saying Maduro decided during a meeting with his security cabinet to step up security actions in areas where violence has erupted.

A university student, a man painting his home and a National Guard captain were shot dead Wednesday in Valencia.

Valencia Mayor Miguel Cocchiola is an opposition politician and he says that there are "videos, proof" that corroborate witness accounts that armed pro-government groups known as "colectivos" were involved in the shootings.

The government says the demonstrations have left at least 25 dead since Feb. 12.