Clashes, arrests mark protest day
SANTIAGO — Police used tear gas, water cannons and clubs against demonstrators staging nationwide protests yesterday over government social and economic policies.
Authorities said 87 persons were detained, but as the protests passed the six-hour mark by midafternoon, state television and the local press quoted police sources as saying that arrests had surpassed 300.
Journalists saw several demonstrators bleeding or overcome by tear gas after clashes with police. Among the injured was Sen. Alejandro Navarro, of President Michelle Bachelet’s Socialist Party, who bled from the back of his head after being clubbed by a police officer. Mr. Navarro supported the protest called by country’s largest union federation to oppose free-market economics and the government’s social policies.
3 children killed in Israeli attack
GAZA CITY — Three Palestinian children were killed yesterday after Israeli soldiers fired at figures they spotted near rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip.
Residents found the bodies of two boys, 10 and 12, in an area near where militants had fired rockets toward Israel. They said the boys died of shrapnel wounds. A 10-year-old girl found near them was critically injured by shrapnel as well and died in a hospital hours later, doctors said. Residents said the three were cousins.
Accident triggers riots in Taj city
NEW DELHI — Police imposed a curfew yesterday in parts of the northern Indian city of Agra — is home to the Taj Mahal — and advised tourists and residents to stay indoors after rioting that followed a fatal truck accident, officials said.
All schools and colleges in Agra are also closed for the next three days, a government spokesman said.
One person was fatally shot and 10 persons — six police and four firefighters — were injured in the unrest. The Taj Mahal lies outside of the curfew zone and was open to tourists, but one of its two gates was closed.
Fires contained, focus shifts to relief
ATHENS — Winds relented throughout fire-ravaged Greece, enabling thousands of firefighters yesterday to tame a rash of fires that killed at least 64 persons and obliterated huge swaths of fields and forests over six days.
The fire department said all major blazes were receding, but authorities remained on high alert ahead of a new heat wave forecast for week’s end.
In the southern Peloponnese peninsula, where 57 of the deaths were recorded, the fronts were contained and firefighters — backed by more than 20 water-dropping aircraft — were moving in to extinguish lingering blazes.
Top member of drug cartel held
MEXICO CITY — A purported high-ranking member of Mexico‘s Gulf drug cartel was seized along with seven others in a raid on a steakhouse in Mexico City, the government news agency said yesterday.
Notimex reported that Juan Carlos de La Cruz Reina, a former policeman in the northern state of Tamaulipas, is thought to be a senior figure in the Gulf cartel. Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office in 2003 listed him as a “direct collaborator” with the imprisoned cartel leader Osiel Cardenas.
From wire dispatches and staff reports