Search on for people missing from Venezuelan religious retreat

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Family members have joined the search for nearly two dozen people reported missing after going on a religious retreat in Venezuela two weeks ago, civil protection authorities said Tuesday.

Between 16 and 20 people are believed to be missing, civil protection official Yesnardo Canal told AFP, though local media have reported it could be even more.

An eight-day-old baby and other children are part of the group.

They went missing after departing on August 22 for what officials described as a religious retreat in the town of La Grita in western Tachira province, but officials have provided no further details about the gathering.

More than 30 search and rescue specialists were looking for the missing people, helped by drones, sniffer dogs and locals from the mountainous area, officials said.

Family members have been brought in to join the search as they would be in a better position to identify their loved ones, said Canal.