Authorities probe death of oil tanker captain in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan prosecutors are investigating the death of an oil tanker captain killed after a group of masked assailants boarded the ship, officials said Wednesday.

Capt. Jaime Herrera died on Feb. 24 after six men attacked the San Ramon vessel, which was anchored near the shores of the eastern state of Anzoategui, according to a report from the port captain’s office.

The area has become a magnet for criminal groups targeting fishermen and private boats used by tourists trying to reach small nearby islands.

Opposition lawmaker Omar Gonzalez said a sergeant with the Venezuelan Coast Guard keeping watch over the vessel was also injured in the attack. No other details were immediately available.

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Venezuela’s beleaguered oil industry has seen a dramatic drop in production amid years of mismanagement and U.S. sanctions aimed at severing a crucial lifeline for President Nicolas Maduro.

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