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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Protests as Chile remembers coup
Relatives of those killed during the military regime shout slogans outside La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile
Relatives remembered those killed during the regime
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet has marked the anniversary of the 1973 military coup by praising former socialist President Salvador Allende.

Placing a wreath at a memorial to the former leader at the presidential palace in Santiago, Ms Bachelet said he died for democracy and his country.

Relatives of those killed during the military regime held demonstrations outside the palace.

Later, violent protests erupted in several working-class neighbourhoods.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse groups of protesters, who drew up barricades to block traffic and threw chains at power lines to cut electricity.

Police told the Associated Press news agency that 12 officers had been injured.

It was the first anniversary without the leader of the coup, General Augusto Pinochet, who died last December.


Ms Bachelet was joined by Allende's daughter and granddaughter at the memorial in La Moneda palace - where Allende died during the military coup.

The president, who was herself a victim of torture under the military government, urged Chileans to keep working for a more democratic Chile so the events of the past would never be repeated.

"Let's think about how we can contribute to make sure nobody will again have to suffer what so many suffered," she said.

Thousands of supporters of the previous government were killed, tortured or forced into exile during Gen Pinochet's 1973-1990 military rule.

The Pinochet family remembered the occasion by inaugurating a crypt at the general's former countryside home, where his ashes were placed.

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