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Peru invokes curfew after a bloody night kills 18 protesters

Peru invokes curfew after a bloody night kills 18 protesters

Lima: One day past a breakout of violence that killed 18 people, Peru announced a curfew in the Southern Puno region on Tuesday to contain the chaotic situation in which demonstrators and security forces clashed, Agence France-Presse reported.

According to Prime Minister Alberto Otarola, a three-day after-dark curfew is scheduled to run from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am.

The curfew was imposed after the cumulative death count within a month during protests against the ouster of former president Pedro Castillo reached 40. The said count includes the 18 killed on Monday night.

Puno region is along the borders of Bolivia and houses many Aymara indigenous people. The area became the epicentre of pro-Castillo protests.

On the chaotic night of Monday, protesters looted shops and opened attacks on police in the area. The bloodshed happened when protesters tried to ram into the airport of Juliaca city, which was under the security of forces.

There, fourteen people lost their lives after being shot during firing, while many sustained gunshot injuries. Three more died while a shopping centre was being looted in the city, and the last victim was a police officer. The United Nations informed that the officer died when his vehicle was set on fire.

The Otarola government in the country defended the security force’s actions in the city. It alleged that a group of thousands attempted an organized coup o the airport, which prompted the forces to react.

However, UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Marta Hurtado urged the administration to carry out an impartial and effective investigation into deaths and injuries out of the conflict. She also demanded to hold those responsible for the events to account and ensure that the victims received justice and redressal.

The current wave of protests erupted in the country after the leftist leader, and then President Castillo, was ousted from his office a month ago. Castillo was slapped with multiple graft cases and was facing investigations. He also got arrested on charges of rebellion and attempted to dissolve parliament.

After that, tensions increased in the cities of Puno and Juliaca, where a week-long strike forced businesses to shut down. Demonstrators blocked roads towards six of the 25 departments, officials said, adding that there were 53 different roadblocks set.

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