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US alleges ‘excessive force’ in Nicaragua

Students wait for riot police agents in a barricade close to Nicaragua's Technical College during protests against government's reforms in the Institute of Social Security (INSS) in Managua on April 21, 2018. Violent protests against a proposed change to Nicaragua's pension system have left at least 10 people dead over two days, the government said Friday. In the biggest protests in President Daniel Ortega's 11 years in office in this poor Central American country, people are angry over the plan because workers and employers would have to chip in more toward the retirement system. / AFP PHOTO / INTI OCONINTI OCON/AFP/Getty Images
INTI OCON/AFP/Getty Images
Students waited for riot police agents in a barricade close to Nicaragua's Technical College during protests against government's reforms in the Institute of Social Security (INSS) in Managua.

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — The U.S. State Department is accusing Nicaragua’s government of overreacting to protests during days of unrest in which human rights groups say more than two dozen people have died.

Sunday’s statement says U.S. officials ‘‘condemn the violence and the excessive force used by police and others against civilians who are exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression and assembly.”

It’s calling for ‘‘broad-based dialogue involving all sectors of society’’ and urges the government to allow an independent investigation into the deaths.

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