Eleven Killed in Nicaragua as Government Targets Opposition Strongholds

Marco Green
July 16, 2018

Mr Leiva warned people in the city of Masaya to stay indoors, saying "there are sharpshooters stationed at different places around the city".

"We are being attacked by the National Police and paramilitaries armed with AK-47s and machine guns in our indigenous neighborhood of Monimbo", said Alvaro Gomez, a resident. "We are resisting with homemade bombs and stones".

The Nicaraguan Bishops' Conference said the young man killed in the church attack had been hit in the head by a bullet during what it referred to as a fierce assault carried out by police and paramilitary forces. They did not comment on the other deaths reported by ANPDH.

"The state seems to ignore the dialogue".

Ortega traveled in a caravan Friday to the city of Masaya for a rally, while in Managua clashes intensified as police and pro-government forces tried to evict students occupying the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua.

"The escalation of violence against civil society, with physical aggressions against priests, journalists and human rights activists, are unacceptable", the Brazilian government said in a statement.

A delegation of Nicaragua's Catholic bishops negotiated the transfer of the students to Managua's metropolitan cathedral, where they were receiving medical care.

Two students were killed, Roman Catholic cardinal Leopoldo Brenes said.

An anti-government protester takes part in a caravan of car and motorcycles to demand an end to violence in Ticuantepe
Nicaraguan Students Reunite With Families After Attacks

Nicaragua has entered its third month of political unrest. Protests broke out in April over now-scrapped pension reforms and have since expanded into general opposition to President Daniel Ortega and his government.

Student leader Lester Aleman, who is among the protesters spearheading the demand for Ortega to step down, told reporters that he wanted a "halt to the repression".

Tensions erupted after the government announced cuts to social security.

But at least one member of the group was killed after coming under fire from paramilitaries, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a human rights group.

"They have no qualms with shooting and killing anybody".

Leiva addressed an urgent call for help to the bishops of the Episcopal Conference, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Last week, Ortega rejected calls for his resignation, telling thousands of supporters that protesters demanding he leave office should "seek the vote of the people" if they want to govern.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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