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Chile declares state of emergency as Santiago erupts in riots

The President of Chile president has declared a state of emergency following violent protests sparked by a recent fare hike for public transport in the Chilean capital.

Harrowing photographs show the mayhem in downtown Santiago, as the demonstrations became especially violent on Friday, with photographs showing people clashing with riot police. Protesters also set fire to a metro ticket office and an office building in the city center.

Addressing the nation in the early hours of Saturday, President Sebastian Pinera said that he would invoke a special state security law to prosecute black-hooded rioters who have set fires, looted, and destroyed public infrastructure in the capital

The government increased prices for metro rides in early October, prompting high school and university students to take to the streets.

In his speech, Pinera promised that he would work to “alleviate the suffering of those affected by the increase in fares.”

The metro system has been closed, with authorities stating that “serious destruction” made it impossible to operate trains safely.

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