Agitating Peru farmers clash with cops, toll rises to four

February 20th, 2008 - 7:06 pm ICT by admin  

Lima, Feb 20 (IANS) Two more farmers have been killed in clashes with the police on the outskirts of the Peruvian city of Ayacucho, raising the toll to four in the two-day nationwide demonstration by farmers, EFE news agency reported Wednesday. The farmers were demanding concessions on loans, water rights and compensation for losses caused by the free trade agreement with the US.

The incident Tuesday occurred when a group of farmers tried to block the highway, leading from Ayacucho to the Pacific coast, and burnt a gasoline station located on the outskirts of the city.

According to RPP radio, several people were injured in the incident and were taken to hospitals in Ayacucho.

One farmer died Tuesday morning when he fell into a ravine while he was fleeing from the police. Another person died the previous day after he tried to attack a bus on a road.

The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in eight districts where protests were held.

Hundreds of vehicles were left stranded on the roads as a result of the protests. Many cases of robbery on the highways were also reported.

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