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America

2003-10-13

AMERICA/BOLIVIA - POLICE CLASH WITH PROTESTERS: 22 KILLED IN EL ALTO CITY, AT LEAST 60 INJURED IN THE ANTI-GAS WAR AGAINST THE GOVERNEMNT PLAN TO EXPORT NATURAL GAS

Rome (Fides Service) – At least 22 people were killed and at least 60 injured in clashes between police and protesters in uprisings which have bloodied Bolivia for the past 48 hours, in particular in the capita, La Paz, now a battle field, and the industrial suburb El Alto. This is only the last in series of episodes of the “anti-gas war waged by the poorest sectors of the population, miners, peasants and workers strangled by the recession and poverty, who oppose the government’s decision to sell Bolivia’s natural gas to Mexican and US companies at conditions said to be unacceptable by trade unions. After the deaths at the weekend all hope for talks between the government and social organisations has gone. Eyewitnesses say among the victims killed by stray bullets there were also women and children one aged only 7. Military are positioned at road junctions in El Alto, a poor industrial city 16 kilometres from the capital. A Catholic priest, Far Asensio Mamani said he saw three people die in clashes in his district Senakata. Another priest Father Modesto Chino said he saw two killed in Ballivan district. AP (Fides Service 13/10/2003 EM lines 20 Words: 237)

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