Night of protests in Chile leave 122 injured

3/30/2008 SANTIAGO, Chile The fatality was a 23-year-old man shot by masked demonstrators who claimed he was an infiltrator, Santiago Gov. Alvaro Erazo said.

"It was a cold-blooded assassination," he said.

The protests broke out Saturday night and lasted into Sunday morning in several working-class neighborhoods in Chile's capital.

Police used tear gas and water cannons against hundreds of protesters commemorating the "Day of the Young Combatant," a day that marks the killing by police 23 years ago of two young brothers during Gen. Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 dictatorship.

Police said one officer was shot in a leg and hospitalized. Eight other policemen were injured, including six whose vehicle crashed as it rushed to one of the many intersections blocked with blazing barricades. Police said 122 protesters were arrested.

Similar protests occur every year on the "Day of the Young Combatants," but the violence this year was clearly less than in the past. Last year, 32 police officers were injured and 819 demonstrators were arrested, though no one was killed.

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