CARACAS, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan authorities on early Monday morning took over Altamira Square in the eastern Caracas district of Chacao from protesters.
Following a special operation involving some 600 security officers, Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres said the zone, which protesters had turned into a stronghold, is now free of violence.
The minister added that several people linked to vandalism were arrested and that many protesters received payments of 5,000 bolivars (793 U.S. dollars) per week to generate violence in the area.
Transportation Minister Haiman El Troudi said that the public transportation service known as Metrobus will start again Monday after several days of suspension.
Since its onset more than a month ago, anti-government protests in capital Caracas and other major Venezuelan cities have left 28 dead and some 400 injured.