Frightening moment five agents are set on fire after being hit by a Molotov cocktail during a protest over tax reforms in Colombia
- Five police officers were injured in a protest in Pasto, Colombia on Thursday when they were hit by a Molotov cocktail
- Police sustained burns to their face and hands, but one of the officers remained in hospital from Friday for second-degree burns.
- The Andean nation has faced protests for two days since Wednesday as unions call on government to withdraw controversial tax reform
- Colombia’s National Police said Friday it has arrested 185 people in protests across the country and 209 police officers have been injured.
At least five police officers were injured when they were hit by a Molotov cocktail during a protest in southern Colombia.
Several videos show how police, dressed in riot gear, manned their post outside a hotel in Pasto, Nariño, on Thursday night when they were set on fire by the incendiary device.
The officers suffered burns to their faces and hands and were rushed to a local hospital for treatment.
Only one of the police officers had been in hospital since Friday for second-degree burns.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
Riot police are on guard Thursday at a hotel in Pasto, Colombia, during a protest against a tax reform bill before being attacked with a Molotov cocktail. A total of five officers sustained burns to their faces and hands and were rushed to a local hospital for treatment. One of the injured officers suffered second-degree burns and remained in the hospital from Friday
A Molotov cocktail explodes over five riot police officers in southern Colombia on Thursday. The Andean nation has faced demonstrations since Wednesday led by unions calling on the government not to push for an increase in income tax after the proposal was presented at congress earlier this month.
According to Colonel José Sánchez of Pasto Metropolitan Police, the injured officers were assigned to the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad and displayed restraint despite being attacked with items just before the bombing.
“These guys were there, they didn’t use force and they were cornered, subjected to blows with stones, with clubs, and they still threw fire at these uniformed men,” Sánchez said.
A reward of $ 2,600 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.
The riot occurred after most of the protesters had gone home due to a local 8pm curfew imposed by the state of Nariño. The lockdown was lifted at 5 a.m. on Friday.
Police officers seek help after being hit by a Molotov cocktail during a protest in the southern Colombian department of Nariño.
Protesters in Medellín participate in second day of protests against Colombian President Ivan Duque’s tax reform bill
A man arrested on Thursday in clashes with police in Medellín, Colombia, after protesting tax reform bill
The demonstrations were part of a nationwide protest launched by unions in key cities in Colombia on Wednesday to demand that President Ivan Duque’s government withdraw a controversial tax reform, which she presented to Congress earlier this month to boost tax revenues. .
Major General Jorge Vargas of the National Police of Colombia announced on Friday that at least 185 people have been arrested across the Andean country. A total of 209 officers were injured during the demonstrations, including 93 on Thursday evening.
The most serious riots and vandalism took place Wednesday and Thursday in Cali, the capital of Colombia’s Valle del Cauca province, attacking banks and government offices, among others.
A protester stands behind a wood panel on Thursday in a violent clash with riot police in Cali, Colombia. Cali Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina estimated losses from looting and vandalism to be approximately $ 21.5 million.
A member of riot police is caught on fire on Thursday during clashes with protesters in Cali, Colombia
An injured protester is pulled by fellow humans in clashes with riot police in Colombia
Cali Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina estimated that losses from looting and vandalism were approximately $ 21.5 million.
The national protests began despite a court order and pleas from authorities to suspend the marches over fears of contamination, while Colombia is stuck in a third wave of coronavirus infections that have stretched healthcare to breaking point.
The government said it was ready to change the tax reform bill through debates in Congress. In addition to trade unions and business associations, a majority of political parties reject the proposal.