4 injured in shooting following Venezuela voting drill

Four people were injured in a shooting that erupted during a voting drill in western Venezuela, an opposition politician said Monday.

The drill on Sunday went smoothly at most of the country's 1,500 polling stations. But Vicente Bello of the opposition A New Time party said supporters of President Hugo Chavez and of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles clashed outside a polling station in the western state of Zulia.

Bello said four bodyguards of an opposition legislator were wounded in the shooting and were recovering at a hospital. Bello accused the bodyguards of local mayor Luis Ruda of firing shots while an opposition crowd was celebrating.

Ruda, a Chavez ally, accused the bodyguards of opposition politician Freddy Gomez of firing.

Police didn't immediately comment on the clash.

Sporadic clashes and scuffles have broken out between supporters of Chavez and Capriles in the months leading up to the country's Oct. 7 presidential election.

In July, stone-throwing Chavez supporters clashed with opposition sympathizers who joined Capriles as he led a march in a poor Caracas neighborhood. Police forced him to turn back without completing the march.

In an earlier incident on March 4, gunfire rang out while Capriles was visiting a traditionally pro-Chavez neighborhood in Caracas, injuring one supporter of the opposition leader.