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AFP
May 4, 2021

17 dead, 800 injured in days-long Colombia protests

World

AFP
May 4, 2021

BOGOTA: At least 17 people died and more than 800 were injured in clashes that broke out in Colombia during five days of protests against a proposed government tax reform, authorities said on Monday.

The Ombudsman’s Office said 16 civilians and one police officer died in violence during the protests that began throughout the country on April 28, while 846 people, including 306 civilians, were injured.

Authorities have detained 431 people while the government deployed the military in the worst affected cities. Some NGOs accused the police of firing at civilians. Defense Minister Diego Molano claimed the violence was "premeditated, organized, financed by FARC dissidents" and members of the ELN.

FARC -- the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- leftist rebels signed a peace deal with the government in 2016 ending more than a half century of conflict, leaving the ELN -- National Liberation Army -- as the last recognised guerrilla group in the country.