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Argentines, Police Clash; 2 Die

June 27, 2002|From Times Wire Services

BUENOS AIRES — Two people were killed and at least 90 injured Wednesday as police fought pitched battles with hundreds of jobless demonstrators trying to block highways around the Argentine capital.

It was the worst violence since President Eduardo Duhalde took office in January after riots toppled President Fernando de la Rua.

Demonstrators said dozens of protesters were injured, and they said police fired on them from rooftops, shops and an elevated walkway. The claims could not be independently verified. Police said 173 people were arrested.

Masked demonstrators responded to volleys of police tear gas and rubber bullets with a hail of rocks. The protesters also used homemade clubs to break shop windows and smash cars. One bus was set afire, the driver said, after he and passengers were forced off at gunpoint.

Protests against the government's handling of a protracted recession have become near-daily events in Argentina since the crisis exploded in December.

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