Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered an expansion of civilian militia by nearly one million members at a rally in Caracas on Saturday.

Maduro wants to raise the number of members from two million currently to three million by year-end.

The announcement was made during a ceremony marking the 17th anniversary of the return to power of Venezuela's late president Hugo Chavez after a coup attempt.

The civilian militia, created in 2008 by Chavez, is intended to complement the armed forces.

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