Firefighters have been working to put out a raging inferno that broke out in a building near a protest site in Peru’s capital Lima where police fired tear gas as thousands of protesters poured into the city to demand the removal of President Dina Boluarte.
Demonstrators gathered on Thursday in Lima’s historic downtown area where scuffles broke out with the security forces who battled to stop the protesters from reaching key government buildings, including Congress, as well as business and residential districts of the capital.
A relationship between the fire which raged late into Thursday night and the demonstrations was not immediately clear. Images showed people rushing to get their belongings out of the building that was close to several government offices. The National Police of Peru shared dramatic footage of the fire on social media and called on people to stay away from the area.
For much of the day on Thursday, the protesters played a cat-and-mouse game with police, some of whom threw rocks as they tried to get through police lines while officers responded with volleys of tear gas that sent protesters fleeing.
Police estimated that about 3,500 people participated in the protests, but others claimed the figure was double that estimate.