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    Monday, 4 June 2018

    New Nicaragua violence kills six, including American

    Nicaraguan protesters fired homemade mortars to fend off a police crackdown Saturday in new unrest that left at least six people dead, including a US citizen, as the opposition renewed calls for President Daniel Ortega's resignation. But Ortega, the man who has dominated the Central American country's politics for the past four decades, only appeared to dig in deeper, defying seven weeks of anti-government protests that have left more than 100 people dead and are turning increasingly violent.

    In the city of Masaya, once a bastion of support for Ortega's leftist Sandinista movement, residents put up barricades to keep out riot police and protect themselves from what they said were police and paramilitary snipers positioned around a central neighborhood. Five people were killed in the city, including a 15-year-old boy, according to the Nicaraguan Association for the Protection of Human Rights (ANPDH).
    "The blood spilled in Masaya has made it a day of mourning and pain for those citizens who simply wanted to exercise their right to protest," the head of the rights group, Alvaro Leiva, told AFP. "We are facing a situation of profound crisis in terms of human rights violations."

    A police intelligence officer was also among the victims, he said. Separately, US Ambassador Laura Dogu said an American citizen had been killed overnight in the capital, Managua.

    The ANPDH identified him as Sixto Henry Viera, 48, and said he was reportedly killed by a pro-government mob. The police meanwhile reported looting, fires and riots in at least six cities, including Managua and Masaya, blaming "right-wing groups" -- though in at least some of the cities, residents said the security forces themselves were responsible for the destruction.
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    Item Reviewed: New Nicaragua violence kills six, including American Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Asqamar