Caracas: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says a police manhunt is underway for opposition leader Leopold Lopez.
Maduro addressed Lopez at a rally in Caracas, saying, "Turn yourself in coward." Maduro also denounced what he said is a "fascist" plot to oust him from power.
Maduro didn`t mention Lopez by name, referring to him only by a frequently-used disparaging nickname.
The president said security forces acting on a February 12 arrest order are now looking for the leader of Wednesday`s anti-government protests, which resulted in deadly clashes with police and government supporters. Lopez hasn`t been seen since a Wednesday night press conference.
El Universal newspaper published Thursday a leaked copy of what it said was an arrest order for Lopez on charges ranging from vandalism to terrorism. Until now no government official had confirmed Lopez`s arrest was being sought.