More than 400 people have been arrested during disturbances in Venezuela following a outbreak of lootings and food riots in the crisis-hit country.
Security forces have stepped up their presence and are patrolling the streets after at least 20 businesses in capital Caracas were violently looted on Tuesday.
Witnesses say the protests are a result of ongoing food shortages in the beleaguered oil state.
A 17-year-old man, who was shot during disturbances in the small town of Merida and later died in hospital, is the fourth victim since the beginning of the unrest, although government officials have insisted the incidents are not linked.
Luis Acuna, a regional governor from the ruling Socialist Party, told a local TV station: “There were only 400 people arrested and the deaths were not linked to the looting.”
He also claimed right-wing politicians had encouraged the disturbances, saying: “I have no doubt they paid them, this was planned.”
The Venezuelan Observatory of Violence says there are at least 10 incidents of looting every day, and many are dispersed by police using tear gas and riot batons.