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Venezuela opposition leader slain at rally, Leopoldo Lopez's wife in attendance

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2015 file photo, a woman wearing handcuffs, chains and a rosary holds a poster of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez at an event marking the one year anniversary of his arrest and imprisonment in Caracas, Venezuela. Prosecutor Franklin Nieves, who reportedly is now seeking asylum in the United States, said in a video posted Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 on the Venezuelan news website La Patilla that superiors in the prosecutor's office had given him orders to have Lopez arrested days before the Caracas protest - and the alleged crime - took place. Lopez was convicted in September 2015 of inciting violence during a 2014 anti-government protest in Caracas and received the maximum sentence, about 14 years.  (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2015 file photo, a woman wearing handcuffs, chains and a rosary holds a poster of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez at an event marking the one year anniversary of his arrest and imprisonment in Caracas, Venezuela. Prosecutor Franklin Nieves, who reportedly is now seeking asylum in the United States, said in a video posted Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 on the Venezuelan news website La Patilla that superiors in the prosecutor's office had given him orders to have Lopez arrested days before the Caracas protest - and the alleged crime - took place. Lopez was convicted in September 2015 of inciting violence during a 2014 anti-government protest in Caracas and received the maximum sentence, about 14 years. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

An opposition leader was shot to death at a campaign rally Wednesday for next week's congressional elections in Venezuela, his party said.

The shooting took place in the central town of Altagracia de Orituco, the leader of Democratic Action party, Carolos Prosperi, said. He said he heard gunshots as the rally was breaking up and the party's leader for the town, Luis Manuel Diaz, was hit.

Also present at the event was Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, said another top party official, Henry Ramos Allup.

Tintori is one of the best known faces of the forces opposing Venezuela's socialist government. On her Twitter account Wednesday night, she denounced the "terror" that she charged was carried out by the governing party and said she had suffered multiple attacks in Altagracia de Orituco.

The Dec. 6 elections are being fiercely contested as the opposition coalition, of which Democratic Action is a part, mounts one of its strongest challenges yet to the government amid severe economic problems in the oil-exporting country.

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The opposition says several activists have been wounded in recent days as government supporters crashed campaign events.

The socialist party has denied that it is trying to intimidate the opposition with violence and called the allegations nothing more than the latest craze among the government's foes.

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