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Two priests killed in Venezuela attack

By Agencies

Two Catholic priests were stabbed to death and a third wounded by young assailants who broke into a school residence in Venezuela during an apparent robbery, the school said Sunday.

A school spokesman said two suspects, one of whom has been caught, climbed a wall to enter the Don Bosco school in the central city of Valencia late Saturday, and entered an area where the priests' rooms were located.

"We have arrested one of the two people suspected in the crime, a juvenile... and we're still looking for the other one, who apparently was around 12 or 13 years old," Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said.

Rodriguez earlier told reporters the murders occurred "under very strange circumstances."

"There was no forced entry and that school is difficult to get into," he said.

Nelson Pena, a seminarian and spokesman for the school, identified the dead priests as Jesus Plaza, a 79-year-old Colombian and Luis Sanchez, an 84-year-old Venezuelan.

Pena said the priests were killed "with knives taken from the school kitchen."

The school's director David Martin, who was wounded, underwent surgery, while another school administrator was lightly injured, Pena said.

The crime comes amid rising violence in Venezuela, which has one of the world's highest murder rates.