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Monday, October 19, 1998 Published at 03:17 GMT 04:17 UK

World: Americas

Demo turns violent outside British embassy in Chile

Violent clashes have taken place in Chile outside the British embassy in Santiago, as supporters of the former military leader, General Augusto Pinochet, protested against his arrest in London.

Riot police used tear gas and water cannon when some of the protestors -- estimated at about one-thousand -- tried to break through police lines into the embassy.

British government ministers have dismissed a protest by the Chilean government which said General Pinochet had diplomatic immunity.

Police arrested the General at a London clinic on Friday night on the request of the Spanish authorities, who want to question him about the murder of Spanish citizens during his rule between 1973 and 1990.

They have forty days to request his extradition to Spain.

The army and right wing politicians in Chile have denounced the arrest.

But human rights groups throughout Latin America and Europe hailed it as a landmark that sent a message to all despots.

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