Muslim Times(Web Desk) – In the Nicaraguan capital, a teenager has lost his life and six others have been injured after police and armed supporters of the government attacked a protest against President Daniel Ortega.
According to media reports, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators, who had gathered in the eastern part of the capital on Sunday.
Ortega’s armed supporters also opened fire at the protesters.
Nicaraguan police said the 16-year-old victim – identified as Max Romero – had been caught in “crossfire.”
“I was shot and wounded by Daniel Ortega’s paramilitaries,” a 41-year-old protester — who was injured in the arm – said while receiving treatment in hospital.
Sunday’s march, called “We are the voice of political prisoners,” was organized by relatives of at least 500 protesters behind bars for joining the anti-government demonstrations, which broke out in April.
The protests, which were sparked by a reverted government decision to slash public welfare benefits, transformed into a widespread movement to topple the leftist government of Ortega.
Rights groups say around 320 people have been killed since the outbreak of tensions.
Ortega, whose third consecutive term as president ends in January 2022, has refused a demand by opponents to move up presidential elections from 2021 to 2019 and accuses his critics of staging a coup in the crisis-hit Latin American country.
The protesters claim the former-rebel leader, along with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have established an autocracy.
Ortega rejects the claims and argues that he is the democratically-elected president and should lawfully be allowed to finish his tenure in office.