Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has called for an investigation to be launched against an opposition figure over a freakish accusation that the government was using "chemical weapons" against anti-government protesters.
Last year, the opposition launched an abortive attempt to oust Maduro by seeking to hold elections.
Saturday's violence broke out when protesters who had gathered in the east of the city changed course at Capriles' request and headed downtown toward the government ombudsman's office.
The government responded with a massive show of force, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets. At least two police officers were hit by the flaming bottles.
"Attention International Community", Smolansky, the mayor of a district in Caracas, tweeted.
Capriles said on Twitter that he rejected the move and insisted he would retain his post as governor.
"What is the order of Maduro?"
A demonstrator walks while building a fire on the street during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, April 8, 2017. Violent clashes with police, who used tear gas to disperse protesters, left one student killed from police gunfire on Thursday.
"Venezuela never in its history has had biological, chemical or nuclear weapons", Maduro said on state television.
"People are exhausted of so much corruption, hunger and poverty", said protester Vanessa Garcia, 37, an optometry student.
The country has undergone three attempted military coups since 1992.
Intelligence Services chief Gustavo Gonzalez said some leaders of a "fascist terrorist cell" were taken into custody for fomenting Saturday's unrest.
In a comment on social media, Capriles denied the charges and said the disqualification was illegal and politically motivated. The ban, which was imposed [VOA report] for alleged "administrative irregularities" during his time as the governor of Miranda and misuse of donations from the British and Polish embassies, would bar Capriles from opposing current President Nicolas Maduro [Twitter profile] in the upcoming presidential election.
Saturday's protests continued a week of unrest sparked by last week's Supreme Court decision in which it assumed the role of the opposition-led congress.
While the court eventually reversed the ruling amid growing pressure, the decision galvanized the opposition and set off tense protests throughout the following week.
The court later reversed the rulings after an worldwide outcry, but kept in place other measures limiting the assembly's powers.
Protesters are demanding the dismissal of all seven justices of the Venezuelan Supreme Court.
Maduro is struggling under low approval ratings and Soviet-style product shortages, but so far the opposition has failed to find a way around the Socialists' domination of the top court and other state institutions that have found one excuse after another to sideline them. He says it is due to a capitalist conspiracy backed by the United States.
New protests are planned in the coming Holy Week days. Few economists expect a short-term improvement to the situation because Maduro's government has repeatedly avoided reform measures such as lifting the exchange controls that could bring back economic stability.
One of the bigger demonstrations is expected for April 19, Venezuela's national holiday.