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Student massacre demonstration turns violent in Mexico

Clashes have erupted between protesters and police in Mexico after thousands of people took to the streets of the capital to commemorate the 47th anniversary of a student massacre in the South American country.

According to Mexican officials, the Friday demonstration in the capital Mexico City turned violent when about 300 “anarchists” lobbed stones and firebombs at the police guarding the National Palace, which is home to the country’s President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Officials said police responded by firing tear gas, and that the violence lasted for around one hour.

The organizers of the rallies called for restraint from both sides.

Federal police officers clash with a group of masked protesters in Mexico City on 2 October, 2015 after a demonstration to commemorate the 47th anniversary of a 1968 massacre of students by the army. (© AFP)

 

In a similar protest in the southern city of Oaxaca, 52 masked youths were arrested for offenses, including vandalizing shops and banks, according to local authorities.

Both incidents of violence come after large national marches were held to mark the anniversary of a 1968 massacre of students by the army in a Mexico City neighborhood.

The students had been demanding an end to what they called repression by their government. Civil society groups say the real number of those killed by police at the time was in fact much higher than the official death toll of 40.

This year’s rallies drew more than 15,000 people in the capital alone.

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