Two US officials shot at Venezuelan strip club

Washington, May 29 (IANS/EFE) The US State Department confirmed Tuesday that two officials at its embassy in Venezuela were hospitalized after they were wounded in a shooting incident at a Caracas strip club.

“Two members of the US Embassy in Caracas were injured during an incident early this morning,” department spokesman William Ostick said.

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

“Apparently it was a fight originating in a nightspot where these people were attacked and shots were fired at them and they suffered gunshot wounds,” police spokesman Douglas Rico told TV channel Globovision at the health clinic where the victims were taken.

In a communique released Tuesday, the US Embassy in Caracas confirmed the incident but neither US authorities nor the police provided the identities or the duties of the injured workers.

Globovision, a private news channel, identified one of the two men as Roberto Ezequiel Rosas.

A doctor at the capital hospital where the pair were taken, identified as Carlos Pacheco, told CNN that the officials were wounded in a shootout at a nightclub in the northwestern portion of Caracas.

Both employees were shot in the abdomen and one of them was also shot in the leg, Pacheco said.

The incident happened in “some sort of social spot or somewhere outside of the embassy grounds”, according to State Department’s Patrick Ventrell.

The wounded pair are not necessarily State Department personnel and may belong to other US agencies that have a presence in Venezuela, Ventrell said.

The State Department said it is not aware whether any arrests have been made in the case, but it is remaining “in contact with local authorities” on that subject, he added.

–IANS/EFE

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