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Mexico: 1 killed, 2 abducted in attack

The teachers are on strike to demand a salary increase and the resignation of the state governor.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2006 08:31 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Chaos engulfed the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca on Tuesday as gunmen killed one man in an attack on protesters, who seized broadcasting stations and sealed off the city with burning barricades.

Hospital sources said one man died of gunshot wounds. Protesters supporting the three-month-old strike by local schoolteachers said two others had been abducted by the attackers.

Federal authorities claimed the gunmen were deployed by the state Governor Ulises Ruiz in a bid to dislodge the protesters from a state-run radio building they seized on August 1. The governor, however,denied any responsibility.

The protests have severely affected tourism, a major source of income in Mexico's impoverished south.

On Monday gunmen fired at the radio station occupied by the protesters, wounding one man in the leg.

The protesters responded by blocking off all accesses to the city, parking trucks and buses across the roads and setting them alight.

They also took control of 12 local radio and television stations.

Oaxaca hotels have shut down and local bus operators have stopped service because of the rising tension.

The striking teachers demanded a salary increase and the resignation of the state governor, who has ordered a major police deployment to dislodge the teachers from the city center.

Three photographers from national media were also wounded by gunshots.

Late on Tuesday, Oxaca state interior secretary Carlos Abascal called for dialogue, "to find a political way out of the conflict".

The federal government has already sent mediators to speak with protestors.

State prosecutors said they had not dismissed the possibility that urban rebel groups had been involved in the attacks.

First Published: Aug 23, 2006 08:31 IST