Airport in Peru forced to close over deadly protest

A demonstrator is detained by police officers during a protest demanding the dissolution of Congress and to hold democratic elections rather than recognize Dina Boluarte as Peru's President, after the ouster of Peruvian leader Pedro Castillo, in Lima, Peru December 11, 2022

An airport in Peru has been closed and two people have been killed in violent protests, authorities say.

Pictures on social media showed smoke billowing from Andahuaylas airport in the south of the country.

Fifty police officers and workers were surrounded by demonstrators at the airport, the transport ministry said in a statement.

Protests over the impeachment of President Pedro Castillo have continued in the capital Lima.

Police fired tear gas on Sunday to disperse demonstrators in the city.

Peru’s aviation body Corpac – part of the ministry of transport – said Andahuaylas airport had been seriously affected since Saturday afternoon, experiencing attacks, vandalism and fires being started.

It said 50 airport workers and police officers had been surrounded in the airport terminal, and added that some people had been taken hostage.

Peru’s national police later said officers had been to the airport with state police, and that one officer had been injured.

One protester was killed, police said, adding that they were taking steps to clarify the situation around the death. Peru’s ombudsman said the person killed was an adolescent.

The death of a second person in the unrest in Andahuaylas was later reported by Interior Minister César Cervantes.

Both police and the ombudsman appealed for an end to recent violence.

Hundreds of people marched through Lima on Thursday and Friday, demanding Mr Castillo’s release and the resignation of his successor, Dina Boluarte.

Three thousand people protested in Andahuaylas on Saturday. Some tried to storm a police station, according to state media.

At least 16 protesters and four police officers were injured in marches in the city, the ombudsman reported.

Mr Castillo had widespread support in the south of the country.

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