Mob burns Nicaragua police station after death of youth

September 12, 2008

MANAGUA – Hundreds of residents of a Nicaraguan municipality Monday burned and looted the local police station to protest the shooting death of an area youth, news media reported.

The demonstrators attacked the police station in La Paz Centro, 57 kilometers northwest of Managua, damaging the facility with sticks and stones, and then set fire to it, while the police officers fled to avoid being lynched, according to television reports.

The mob attacked the station during the funeral of Luis Angel Vargas, 15, who was shot three times on Sunday.

The boy was shot in the back at the door of a relative´s house by cops who were pursuing him for allegedly going through a police roadblock on his bicycle, according to unofficial reports.

Enraged townspeople left the local parish church, where a funeral Mass was being celebrated, and headed for the police station in a move meant to take justice into their own hands.

The National Police urged residents for calm and promised to thoroughly investigate the boy´s death and punish the officers, who have been suspended from duty.

Two television stations reported that dozens of anti-riot officers had been dispatched from Managua to La Paz Centro to reestablish public order.

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