Mexican state's HQ torched in demo for missing students

14th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

Protesters torched part of the government headquarters of Mexico's southern state of Guerrero on Monday amid demonstrations demanding the return of 43 students missing since an attack by gang-linked police.

Hundreds of students and teachers ransacked the government complex in the state capital Chilpancingo, allowing workers to leave before breaking windows and setting a building on fire.

The protesters called for Governor Angel Aguirre to resign as they fled the area. State police later came in while firefighters battled the blaze.

No injuries were immediately reported.

The attack on Aguirre's offices came after clashes between riot police and protesters armed with rocks and sticks at the gates of the state congress.

Some 150 police used shields to keep about 500 protesters away from the state legislature. Five teachers and two officers were injured, an AFP correspondent said.

Students from a teacher training college outside Chilpancingo have been fuming over the fate of 43 comrades who vanished after their buses were shot at by municipal police in the city of Iguala on September 26.

Authorities are investigating whether the students were buried in mass graves found outside Iguala, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Mexico City.

Prosecutors have detained 26 Iguala police officers in the case, accusing them of colluding with the Guerreros Unidos gang in a night of violence that also left six people dead and 25 wounded.

Four gang members were also arrested along with four other unidentified people.

Witnesses say they saw several students whisked away in police cars that night.

The city's mayor, his wife and the police chief are wanted for questioning but have gone into hiding.

The case has drawn international condemnation and outrage among the Mexican public, bringing tens of thousands of people to protests across the nation last week.

As the authorities wrestle with the mass disappearance, Guerrero police were caught in another controversial shooting late Sunday, when a state anti-kidnap unit fired at a van carrying two German students, wounding one of them.

Prosecutors say the van ignored a checkpoint the officers had set up in Chilpancingo and that the officers shot at its tires to stop it after hearing a gun-like noise.

The student was in stable condition at a Mexico City hospital, according to his school in Mexico, the Monterrey Institute of Technology.

© 2014 AFP

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