At least 11 people were killed in one of the worst days of violence since protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega began more than a month ago, a rights group said on Thursday.
The bloodshed was condemned by the Central American country’s Episcopal conference of Catholic bishops, who called it “organized and systematic aggression” and suspended talks with the government scheduled for Thursday.
Witnesses said pro-government armed groups opened fire on the marchers during a demonstration on Wednesday, Nicaragua’s Mother’s Day. The march was held to remember the children who were among the more than 80 killed since the start of protests more than a month ago.
The Nicaraguan Human Rights Centre said six people were killed in the capital of Managua, with five others killed in other parts of the country and 79 injured. The army said it was treating some of the injured.
A separate count by The Associated Press, based on information from non-governmental organizations and hospital sources, put the death toll in Managua at 13 people.
The European Parliament on Thursday condemned what it called “brutal repression” in Nicaragua and called for elections to be held earlier, echoing other calls for Ortega make the 2021 presidential election earlier.