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President, Bishops call for peace as Nicaragua clashes escalate

IANS  |  Managua 

The death toll in ongoing anti-government protests in climbed to more than 50 with two new deaths reported from Masaya, prompting an appeal for peace from the Episcopal conference of (ECN) and the

Two young men were shot in the head while participating in a protest on Saturday, taking the toll to 54 in 25 days, reports

In Masaya, protesters fought pitched battles for least 14 hours with the National Police, the Sandinista groups and riot police, known as "turbas" (mobs).

"We are deeply hurt by the acts of violence and confrontation that are taking place in various parts of the country, particularly in Masaya, causing and death. We ask that all kinds of violence be stopped," said the ECN in a statement.

Daniel Ortega, who prefers live impromptu addresses, broke his custom to read a short statement, making an appeal "to put an end to death and destruction. May no blood of brothers be shed anymore".

"Peace is the way and the only door to coexistence and respect for the tranquility and safety of all. We ask God to give us the strength to achieve it," said Ortega.

His appeal, however, had no calming effect on the protesters and was criticized on social media, where many accused him of ordering a "student massacre", since most of the victims were university students.

The clashes had started 25 days back over proposed new social security reforms and had continued to escalate owing to a severe crackdown by the government.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 13 2018. 14:56 IST