Columbia: Troops on streets after two die in Bogota riots


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The Independent US

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has deployed troops to patrol the capital following disturbances in which at least two people died.

Mr Santos said that “to assure normality... I have ordered the militarisation of Bogota”.  City officials said the measures did not include suspension of civil liberties and that police will continue to be in charge of maintaining order.

Violence broke out on Thursday after some 30,000 people marched peacefully in support of a 10-day protest by small farmers.

Masked youths began hurling rocks and bricks and fought tear gas-firing riot police, shattering store windows. At least  two people were reported killed. 

The President also announced that 50,000 military personnel would help police along highways, which protesters have blockaded in recent weeks.

Mr Santos opened talks with the protesting farmers on Tuesday.