Chile protests: the number of people killed in violent protests against rising living costs in Chile has risen to 11

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The number of people killed in violent protests against rising living costs in Chile has risen to 11, Santiago Governor Karla Rubilar said on Monday.

At least five of those killed died after looters torched a garment factory near the capital.

The military and police used tear gas and water cannon against protesters and a curfew was imposed in major cities.

A state of emergency already in place in Santiago is to be extended to cities in the country's north and south.

The unrest, sparked by a now suspended metro fare hike, widened to reflect anger over living costs and inequality.

Firefighters say they found five bodies inside the garment factory burned by rioters in a suburb of Santiago. Three more people are also reported to have died on Sunday although no details have so far been given about the circumstances of their deaths.

Earlier reports suggested three people had died in a supermarket fire in Santiago on Saturday, bringing the total of people killed since the protests started to 11.

There had been 70 "serious incidents of violence", including 40 lootings of supermarkets and other businesses. Two people also suffered gunshot wounds after a clash with police, officials say.

"We're facing a real escalation that is undoubtedly organised to cause serious damage to our country and the lives of each of its citizens," Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick said.

Some 10,500 police and soldiers have been deployed on the streets, he added, while officials report more than 1,400 arrests.

In several cities on Sunday, protesters set more buses on fire, smashed up metro stations and clashed with riot police. A night-time curfew was imposed in the areas of Santiago, Valparaíso, Coquimbo and Biobío.

A state of emergency will be applied to Antofagasta, Valparaíso, Valdivia, Chillán, Talca, Temuco and Punta Arenas, allowing authorities to restrict people's freedom of movement and their right to assembly.

In Santiago, almost all public transport was suspended and some flights at the international airport were cancelled or rescheduled because of insufficient crew.

At least one line of the city's metro was expected to reopen on Monday after the entire system was closed on Friday because of damage.

 

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