Venezuelan president calls for stepped up security

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A student of Venezuela's Central University (UCV) shouts slogans against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. A month of student-led demonstrations in a number of Venezuelan cities has left at least 25 people dead, according to the government. Venezuelans fed up with inflation that reached 56 percent last year, long lines for buying some items at grocery stores and one of the highest homicide rates in the world have joined students in protesting against the government. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is calling on the National Guard to search the central city of Valencia for those responsible for a day of violence that left three dead.

Communications Minister Delcy Rodriguez sent a Twitter message Thursday saying Maduro decided during a meeting with his security cabinet to step up security actions in areas where violence has erupted.

A university student, a man painting his home and a National Guard captain were shot dead Wednesday in Valencia.

Valencia Mayor Miguel Cocchiola is an opposition politician and he says that there are "videos, proof" that corroborate witness accounts that armed pro-government groups known as "colectivos" were involved in the shootings.

The government says the demonstrations have left at least 25 dead since Feb. 12.