Venezuela National Assembly attack
Employees of Venezuela's National Assembly and members of the press run as supporters of President Nicolas Maduro storm the building in Caracas on July 5, 2017. Getty Images/AFP/Juan Barreto

The U.S. State Department condemned Wednesday an attack on members of the Venezuela’s National Assembly in Caracas by pipe-wielding supporters of President Nicolas Maduro during the country's Independence Day.

Seven opposition politicians were injured in the attack on July 5, according to Reuters. Julio Borges, president of National Assembly, said over 350 people including politicians, journalists and guests who attended the independence day session were caught in the clash for hours.

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State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued a statement condemning the violence.

“The United States condemns the July 5 attack on members of the Venezuelan National Assembly by armed supporters of the government of President Nicolas Maduro. … We call on the Venezuelan government to immediately provide for the protection of the National Assembly, ensure those injured in today’s attack are able to receive medical attention, and bring the attackers to justice. We urge all sides in Venezuela to refrain from violence,” the department said in the statement.

The assault took place after Vice President Tareck El Aissami showed up at the congress with Vladimir Padrino López, the head of the country’s armed force. During his appearance, Aissami urged Maduro’s followers to come to the National Assembly and support him, BBC reported.

According to reports, opposition lawmakers were beaten up by Maduro’s armed supporters, and at least three lawmakers and two others were rushed to hospital.

While, the president later criticized the attack, he blamed the opposition for not putting an effort in controlling “terrorist attacks” against security forces by protesters, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

“I will never be an accomplice to acts of violence,” Maduro said at a military parade, according to the AP.

The South American nation has been witnessing political and economic turmoil under Maduro’s presidency. Recent months have seen a series of protests against his government. The country is also suffering from recession-triggered food and medicine shortage.

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Maduro’s government has a U.S.-backed business elite responsible for the country’s economic tensions. It also alleged Washington is behind the protests to topple Maduro who assumed power in 2013 after the death of former President Hugo Chavez.

In its statement, the U.S. also deplored Venezuelan government's "increasing authoritarianism, and the convocation of a National Constituent Assembly designed to undermine Venezuela’s democratic institutions, including the National Assembly."

"We join nations across the hemisphere and call upon the government of Venezuela to … respect the constitution and the National Assembly, provide for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, and tend to the humanitarian needs of the Venezuelan people,” the statement further read.

According to Reuters, at least 90 people have died in the protests across the country.

The latest clash came after a helicopter launched grenades and fired shots at the country’s Supreme Court last month. Maduro described it as a “terrorist attack” and blamed it on former ally Miguel Rodriguez Torres, who was an interior minister in Maduro’s government.

During the incident, Maduro was speaking live on state television addressing his supporters at the presidential palace. He said the helicopter opened fire in offices of the court and attacked the building with a grenade which failed to explode.