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1-min read

Curfew in Santiago After Chileans Continue Clashes With Police Despite Emergency

Authorities announced a curfew in Santiago starting at 0100 GMT Sunday, after protesters set buses on fire, burned metro stations and clashed with riot police in the city of seven million.

AFP

Updated:October 20, 2019, 8:37 AM IST
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Curfew in Santiago After Chileans Continue Clashes With Police Despite Emergency
A demonstrator holds a defaced Chilean national flag upside down during a protest against the increase in subway ticket prices in Santiago, Chile, October 19, 2019. (Image: REUTERS)

Santiago: Chileans angry over social and economic issues clashed with security forces for a second day Saturday despite a state of emergency declared to quell the worst violence in years in one of Latin America's most stable countries.

Authorities announced a curfew in Santiago starting at 0100 GMT Sunday, after protesters set buses on fire, burned metro stations and clashed with riot police in the city of seven million.

Protest against the increase in subway ticket prices in Santiago

A masked demonstrator is pictured behind flames during the protest in Santiago. (REUTERS)

"Having analyzed the situation and the appalling actions that occurred today, I have made the decision to suspend freedoms and movement through a total curfew," said Army General Javier Iturriaga, who is overseeing security during the state of emergency.

AFP video showed security forces blasting a crowd with water cannon, and riot police wrestling young protesters into vans.

Protest against the government in Valparaiso, Chile

Burnt shopping carts are seen outside as firemen work to put out a fire at a supermarket during a protest against the government in Valparaiso (REUTERS) REUTERS

The day had started with thousands of Chileans banging pots and pans in Santiago and other cities, reflecting broad anger over economic and social conditions, including a yawning gap between rich and poor.

But clashes later erupted in Plaza Italia, ground zero of Friday's violence, and outside the presidential palace.

Protest against the government in Valparaiso, Chile

A demonstrator tosses back a tear gas canister during a protest against the government. (REUTERS)

Protesters again set buses on fire in downtown Santiago, leading to the suspension of services.

"We're sick and tired, enough already. We're tired of them screwing around with us. Politicians only do what they want to do, and turn their backs on all reality," said Javiera Alarcon, a 29-year-old sociologist protesting in front of the presidential palace, which was surrounded by police and military vehicles.

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