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Maldives police break up anti-government protest

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Maldives police break up anti-government protest

2011-05-01 20:51:48 GMT+7 (ICT)

MALE, MALDIVES (BNO NEWS) -- Clashes erupted on Sunday in the Maldivian capital Male after police used tear gas and batons to disperse an anti-government protest, Haveeru daily online reported.

Thousands of Maldivians began to gather on Saturday night in Male to protest the government's decision to introduce a new U.S. dollar exchange rate and hike commodity prices. At around 4 a.m., police used tear gas and batons to disperse the crowd, leaving several protestors as well as the police injured.

Protestors complained about the ailing economy and criticized the government of President Mohamed Nasheed, who was elected in the Maldives' first multi-party presidential elections in October 2008, ending 30 years of autocratic rule.

Police arrested two opposition leaders and two journalists, who were released about an hour later. Reports also said some protestors were detained.

The Maldives Journalists Association called on the security forces to allow journalists to freely cover the demonstrations. It also claimed that police directly sprayed pepper spray in the eyes of some journalists.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-01

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