Bolivian president says government defeats "coup" by miners

Updated: 2016-08-28 11:17


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Bolivian president says government defeats

File photo shows Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia, Aug 26, 2016. [Photo/Agencies] 

LA PAZ - Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Saturday his government had defeated a "coup d'etat" by protesting miners.

"Once more, the national government has defeated a coup d'etat," and the minors' protests showed a "clear intent" to destabilize the government, Morales said at a press conference in the city of Cochabamba.

Many miners were coerced into protests by union leaders, the president claimed, adding an investigation was underway into the protests and violence.

The miners had blocked a highway in violent protests for more union rights and more mining concessions from the government. Two miners were killed and over 10 police officers were injured in a series of clashes, local media reported.

On Thursday, the whole country was shocked when Bolivian Deputy Interior Minister Rodolfo Illanes was kidnapped and killed by protesters after he was sent to hold talks with miners.

On Friday, miners decided to dismantle the blockades and end protests after Illanes's death, over which dozens of miners were arrested.