Fuel price protests put heat on Morales

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The Independent US

Protests against a sharp increase in fuel prices intensified and turned violent in Bolivia yesterday, as thousands of demonstrators demanded that President Evo Morales's government repeal the increase.

Demonstrators filled the streets in La Paz and other cities to protest against the higher prices, which were announced suddenly last Sunday. Petrol prices immediately soared by 73 per cent and diesel by 83 per cent, leading to a rapid increases in transport and food prices.

Some demanded the resignation of Mr Morales, a close ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. It has been the most unpopular measure of Morales's five-year presidency.