Toddler shot dead amid Nicaraguan unrest

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Managua, June 24 (IANS) A one-year-old boy has become the latest victim of the political unrest roiling in Nicaragua which has already claimed over 155 lives since April, the national police said.

Teyler Leonardo Lorio was shot in the head during a Saturday morning clash between Managua City officials, police and protesters, the state-run news website El 19 Digital said, citing the police report.

The incident occurred when employees of the Managua’s City Hall and police were working to clear roadways blocked by barricades put up by anti-government protesters, Xinhua quoted the police as saying.

“They were attacked by armed delinquents,” the report said, adding that earlier in the day, “masked groups armed with firearms, mortars and Molotov cocktails” attacked families in different residential areas.

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In the past two months, Nicaragua has seen a surge of street violence, after the administration of President Daniel Ortega increased social security contributions and reduced pensions by five per cent.

Ortega’s government, which has ruled for the past 11 years, blames opposition political groups for the “criminal violence” and denied reports of “riot squads or paramilitary groups linked to the government” who protesters blame for the deaths.

On Monday, administration representatives will resume national dialogue with opposition leaders to address the protests.

–IANS

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