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Bolivian Gov's house set ablaze as protests continue

The house of a Bolivian Governor was set on fire, allegedly by protesters opposed to the re-election of President Evo Morales, as widespread demonstrations and incidents continued with police insubordination reported in many places.
Bolivian Gov's house set ablaze as protests continue

Videos released by supporters of President Morales' Movement for Socialism, which Governor Victor Hugo Vasquez belongs to, showed a group of people vandalizing and setting fire to his house on Saturday in Oruro department, Efe news reported.

In addition, a bus caravan that was heading to La Paz from Potosi and Chuquisaca in support of marches against Morales was attacked after it stopped at night in Oruro, with an undetermined number of wounded.

The headquarters of the state Bolivia TV and Patria Nueva radio station in La Paz were also blockaded until employees were able to leave while protesters chanted "without violence".

On Wednesday, a mob burned the city hall of Vinto, where protesters dragged pro-Morales Mayor Patricia Arce through the streets, splashed colour on her and cut her hair before she was rescued by police.

Arce ran barefoot down the street as the crowd heckled and shoved her, before she fell to the ground while people shouted "assassin" around her, footage aired by Bolivian media showed.

The incidents come in the midst of the uprising of several groups of police in various Bolivian cities between Friday night and Saturday, protesting the October 20 election in which Morales won his fourth term, but in which opposition and civic movements allege electoral fraud.

On Saturday, Morales called on the opposition to participate in dialog "to preserve life" and "seek unity", with an open agenda in order to find a way out of the worst crisis of his leadership.

The protests have so far left three dead and 384 wounded, according to data from the Ombudsman's Office. About 100 have been arrested.

The country's opposition and civic groups do not recognize Morales' victory, and demand his resignation and new elections.

( With inputs from IANS )

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