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 Police in Buenos Aires cordon off Villa Soldati camp

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Registration date : 2010-10-07

PostSubject: Police in Buenos Aires cordon off Villa Soldati camp    Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:18 am

The Gendarmerie has been on patrol at the site of the clashes
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Police in Argentina have cordoned off an area of the capital, Buenos Aires, after a week which saw at least three people killed in clashes between squatters and local residents.

Around 1,000 migrant workers pitched their tents in the area in protest at the lack of adequate housing.

After police failed to evict the squatters, some local residents attacked the migrants, killing two Bolivian men and a Paraguayan woman.

Police say they have now restored calm.

Heavily-armed members of the security forces along with armoured vehicles and helicopters were deployed to Villa Soldati, a poor neighbourhood of the capital.

Lethal clashes
Hundreds of families, many of them migrant workers from Bolivia and Paraguay, illegally occupied Indoamericana Park in Villa Soldati demanding they be given housing by the state.

After security forces failed to move the squatters, local residents armed with sticks and rocks attacked the camp in an effort to scare its occupants into leaving.

At least three people were killed in the clashes, although reports of a fourth victim have not yet been confirmed by the authorities.

The BBC's Daniel Schweimler in Buenos Aires says the violence has shocked Argentina, where rising crime was already a major issue.

Our correspondent says President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner responded on Friday by announcing the creation of a new Security Ministry .

The ministry will be headed by Defence Minister Nilda Garre.

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