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Three die as Bolivian security forces evict protesters from refinery

Christian Fernsby |
Bolivian police and troops killed three people and wounded 30 others on Tuesday in an operation to evict supporters of former president Evo Morales from an oil refinery in El Alto, near La Paz.

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“According to the preliminary information, the three people died as a result of gunshots,” the Ombudsman’s Office said.

Security forces went to the refinery in El Alto’s Senkata district to enable the resumption of fuel shipments, which had been blocked by activists from the leftist MAS party after Morales resigned on Nov. 10 under duress.

The wounded, including some in critical condition, were taken from Senkata to hospitals in El Alto and La Paz, the Ombudsman’s Office said, appealing to the armed forces to return to the barracks “to avoid more deaths.”

The military, meanwhile, said that it had received “intelligence” that the people occupying the refinery had high-powered explosives which they planned to use to destroy the installations.

The violence occurred after armored vehicles escorted a convoy of oil tankers away from the refinery.

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