CARACAS (Reuters) -- A Venezuelan opposition party said on Wednesday one of its regional leaders was shot dead during a political meeting days before a parliamentary election that is raising tensions round the polarized nation.

Armed assailants in a vehicle shot Luis Manuel Diaz, head of the Democratic Action party in Altagracia de Orituco in central Venezuela, while he was at a meeting with locals, the party's national leader said.

(Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Sandra Maler)