Three dead in Chile protest violence

  • Sunday 20, October 2019 11:00 AM
Sharjah24 – AFP: Three people died in a fire in a supermarket being ransacked in the Chilean capital early Sunday, as protests sparked by anger over social and economic conditions rocked one of Latin America's most stable countries.
Santiago's Mayor Karla Rubilar told reporters two people burned to death in the blaze and another later died in hospital, after the huge store controlled by US retail chain Walmart was looted.

They were the first deaths in two days of violent unrest in which protesters have set buses on fire, burned metro stations and clashed with riot police in the city of seven million -- despite a curfew starting at 0100 GMT Sunday.

The protests were triggered by an unpopular hike in metro fares, which President Sebastian Pinera announced Saturday he was suspending.

He appealed to people taking to the streets, saying "there are good reasons to do so," but calling on them "to demonstrate peacefully" and saying "nobody has the right to act with brutal criminal violence."

But clashes later erupted in Plaza Italia, ground zero of Friday's violence, and outside the presidential palace.

Protesters again set buses on fire in downtown Santiago, leading to the suspension of services.