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Argentine protest sparks clashes

Thursday, April 5th 2007 - 21:00 UTC
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Police in the Argentine province of Neuquen have used tear gas for a second day against teachers protesting over pay and working conditions.

The clashes came as people gathered at a local government building to protest against police action a day earlier. One protester died after being injured by an exploding tear gas canister during Wednesday's rally as police dispersed crowds blocking a highway. The main teachers' union is to strike on Monday in protest at the violence. The teachers are demanding higher wages, arguing that inflation has reduced the spending power of their salaries. The violence on Wednesday happened when police fired tear gas to disperse the several hundred-strong group of demonstrators, some of whom responded by throwing stones. One protester, Carlos Fuentealba, was hit by a tear gas canister and taken to hospital but later died of his injuries. Fuentealba's death is only likely to further fuel what is already a volatile protest over pay and conditions, says BBC Americas editor Will Grant. Other teachers' protests have been reported around the country. Police fired rubber bullets at teachers in the northern province of Salta after they tried to prevent lawmakers leaving the local legislature after a vote on salaries, the Associated Press news agency said.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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