The tension on Friday that surrounds the demonstrations in Caracas was underscored by a report from Twitter that the government has blocked pictures of the unrest from being shared between users on the social messaging service.
    
The state-owned telecommunications company CANTV "emphatically" denied putting any such restrictions in place.
    
Hundreds of protesters have assembled in the capital in an anti-government movement launched 10 days ago by students who have received backing from some of the country's fractured opposition groups. Rampant crime, soaring inflation and basic goods shortages are their main grievances.
    
Despite having the world's largest proven reserves of crude oil, the country remains economically divided. The past week has seen the biggest show of defiance to Maduro's leadership since he took over from the late Hugo Chavez last year.
    
"We are here once again to demand the release of students who were detained and because we can't live with such violence," Maria Correia, 20, said in a wealthy neighbourhood in the eastern section of Caracas.
    
Under a hot sun, the young protesters gathered near Plaza Altamira, wearing the national flag on their backs and brandishing signs that read "We are all Venezuela, peace for students" and "We want peace, no more violence."
    
Other protests took place across the country, including in the western city of San Cristobal.
    
The protesters have demanded that Maduro step down, but top opposition leader Henrique Capriles has said the political conditions are not favourable to the president's exit.
    
Maduro has called a demonstration by his supporters "for peace and against fascism" today.
    
The dueling processions follow a fierce opposition demonstration in Caracas on Wednesday in which a pro-government demonstrator and two students died. Dozens more were wounded and many were arrested.

(Agencies)

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