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Eight more killed in Bolivian coup

AT LEAST eight more Evo Morales supporters were killed by pro-coup forces as protestors blockaded a fuel plant in Bolivia yesterday.

Supporters of the ousted president died as they mounted barricades around the YPFB plant in El Alto, as calls mounted for self-appointed and US-backed ‘interim President’ Jeanine Anez to step down.

The coup leaders denied responsibility for the killing of protesters at another fuel plant on Tuesday in La Paz, despite eye-witness accounts that those killed were shot by soldiers.

Of at least 32 people killed so far in violence, most have died in the last 10 days, sparking calls for investigation into human-rights abuses following the coup.

In an attempt to head off the growing protests, the pro-coup rump of Bolivia’s Congress yesterday began debating a bill calling a new election – although no date has been given.

Mr Morales had already signalled that fresh elections would be called – despite the absence of evidence that his re-election was anything other than free and fair – before he was deposed and forced to seek asylum in Mexico.

Ms Anez said that Mr Morales, the country’s first indigenous leader whose government had made great strides in reducing poverty and promoting equality, would be barred from standing in fresh elections.

The election move is unlikely to deter protestors who have rallied in increasing numbers to demand an end to the coup.

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