8 Killed, Dozens Injured as Bolivian Police Open Fire on Evo Morales Supporters

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</code>At least eight people were killed and dozens injured in the Bolivian city of Sacaba on Friday, after security forces fired on supporters of ousted president Evo Morales, according to the Associated Press.

With tensions running high following Morales' resignation last Sunday, demonstrators took to the streets to decry the nation's interim president, Jeanine Añez. The protesters, made up largely of members of Bolivia's indigenous population, view Añez's rule as illegitimate and are calling for Morales to return. The former president has been granted asylum in Mexico.

Protesters said the violence began after they tried to cross a military checkpoint in Sacaba, near Cochabamba,according to the AP. Presidency Minister Jerjes Justiniano said the protesters were armed with "military weapons."

"It's unclear precisely what the circumstances were, but the general perception here is that security forces opened fire on the crowd," NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting from La Paz, said. "Today they're holding funerals and wakes. There will be more protests, more emotions, more violence and more tension."


The violence in Sacaba is part of a larger pro-Morales movement sweeping the country, as his supporters within the indigenous population of Bolivia protest Morales' departure from office. Morales, a socialist and Bolivia's first indigenous president, resigned under pressure from the military three weeks after declaring himself the winner of an election that was marred by widespread allegations of fraud. He has since called his exit a "coup."

Protests are continuing to rage on in La Paz, El Alto and Sacaba, and the Associated Press reported that 13 people have died since the protests began, with many more injured.
 
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