Seven police injured, 49 arrested in Chile coup commemorations

2016-09-12 21:23
A man is detained by the police during a demonstration commemorating the 43nd anniversary of Chile's 1973 military coup (AP).

A man is detained by the police during a demonstration commemorating the 43nd anniversary of Chile's 1973 military coup (AP).

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Santiago - Seven officers were injured and 49 people arrested as protesters erected barricades and clashed with police on the 43rd anniversary of the military coup that brought Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to power, the government said on Monday.

The violence, which also included power outages, began on Sunday on the periphery of Santiago but spread to the metropolitan area overnight, where demonstrators remained in the streets until the early hours.

One initially peaceful march ended with clashes between hooded people and police who fired tear gas into the crowd.

The government reported 140 violent episodes during Sunday's anniversary events.

"The situation this [September] 11th has been less intense than the last," said Deputy Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy, noting that the number of violent incidents had decreased by more than half.

He said that those responsible for the violence were criminals who used the day's commemorations to take advantage of the situation.

"Those who are firing guns at night are not people who are commemorating an event, they are people carrying out criminal acts," he said.

One of the injured officers was shot in the leg, but is not in critical condition.

President Michelle Bachelet paid tribute to Allende on Sunday, stating that as long as "memory lives, no one has been defeated, no one has been forgotten".

The Pinochet regime killed an estimated 3 200 people and tortured 38 000 from the time the army commander seized power in 1973 to the return to democracy in 1990.

Read more on:    augusto pinochet  |  michelle bachelet  |  chile

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