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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Bolivia deploys army to patrol streets as police strike

The Bolivian government has deployed the army to patrol the streets as police across the country continue to strike in protest at low pay. The protests turned violent on Thursday when officers seized control of a police barracks in the city of La Paz. Communications Minister Amanda Davila said striking officers had been "setting the scene for a coup". Talks between the government and striking officers stalled early on Saturday with no agreement in sight. Ms Davila said the officers were stockpiling weapons and pressuring other units to turn over their guns. "Press reports and intelligence reports are now saying that a coup scenario is taking shape," she said. But the striking officers said they had no interest in overthrowing Bolivia's left-wing President Evo Morales. They insisted they were only interested in reaching an agreement on higher pay.

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