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September 23, 2018

Two dead in raid by Nicaragua pro-government forces: rights group

Two dead in raid by Nicaragua pro-government forces: rights group
'The protests, first sparked by since-aborted pension reforms, quickly broadened into a rejection of Ortega and calls for him to go' - By: AFP/File INTI OCON

A raid by pro-government forces left at least two people dead in Nicaragua on Sunday, where more than 230 people have been killed since unrest broke out in April, a rights group said.

"There are two dead reported in Diriambo" in the country's southwest, said Vivian Zuniga, an official from the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH).

Heavily armed groups of men in civilian clothes with black hoods were shown in the Carazo area in videos filmed by residents and posted on social media.

"The situation is serious. There is an undue attack by government forces that is causing bloodshed, more death and mourning in our country," said Alvaro Leiva, the executive secretary of the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of President Daniel Ortega, a former leftist guerrilla who came to power with the popular uprising that defeated dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979, and retook the presidency in 2007 after a vote.

Roman Catholic bishops are working to mediate dialogue between the government and opposition in a bid to end the protests and government repression that have wracked the country since April 18.

The protests, first sparked by since-aborted pension reforms, quickly broadened into a rejection of Ortega and calls for him to go.

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