Venezuela's socialist government is opening an investigation against CNN en Espanol, accusing the network of inciting violence with a mistaken report about looting in the country's interior.

In a statement Friday, the Conatel telecommunications regulator says the investigation could result in sanctions against the network for spreading lies.

CNN did not respond to a request for comment.

But prior to the government's action, CNN issued a statement apologizing for what it said was an incorrect reference to new looting incidents in the banner text accompanying a news report Thursday from the central city of Maracay.

While food shortages across Venezuela are fueling frustration with President Nicolas Maduro's government and accounts of looting have become frequent, the network said there were no reports of unrest on the day its dispatch aired.