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Two Protesters Killed in Argentine Protests

The deaths are reported to have occurred as police tried to stop poor and unemployed demonstrators from blocking a bridge in the capital, Buenos Aires.
Two protesters in Argentina have been killed during a demonstration against the country's economic crisis.

The deaths are reported to have occurred as police tried to stop poor and unemployed demonstrators from blocking a bridge in the capital, Buenos Aires.

Two more protesters are said to have been seriously injured.

Police used tear gas and batons to clear the area, Reuters news agency reported.

"There are two dead and two seriously injured in Buenos Aires province with gunshot wounds," a government spokesman told the agency.

"We don't know where the shots came from."

The dead protesters are thought to have been aged between 20 and 25.

About 2,000 demonstrators had gathered at the bridge, which links the capital with the city of Avellaneda, French news agency AFP reported.

- Protesters detained

They had reportedly planned to block all bridges in and out of the city, but began pelting police with sticks and stones after two protesters - it is not clear if they were the same two who were killed - were detained by the authorities.

Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde's cabinet chief, Alfredo Atanasof, is said to have warned that he would not tolerate the stopping of traffic, and the country's navy and civil defence forces have reportedly been called out.

Protests in the country have been held almost on a daily basis since last December when widespread demonstrations forced the government's resignation.

Millions were plunged into poverty after the government posted the biggest sovereign debt default in history, devalued the peso by more than two thirds and froze millions of bank accounts last year.

There have been reports of Argentines suffering from malnutrition and even the threat of starvation across the country.

Food kitchens have sprung up in an attempt to alleviate the situation.
 
 

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