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At Least 740 Arrested in Chile Protest Violence


Chilean officials say at least 740 people have been arrested after clashing with police during mass protests in Santiago over the government's social and economic policies.

Authorities say demonstrators hurled objects at police and hid behind barricades Wednesday as officers used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowds. Some shops were looted as the violence erupted in the capital.

Dozens of people were injured, including a ruling coalition senator, Alejandro Navarro, who was seen bleeding from the head after he was clubbed by an officer.

Labor unions organized the protests, saying workers should get a larger portion of profits from Chilean industry. Chile is the world's biggest copper producer and has benefited from high prices for the metal in recent years.

President Michelle Bachelet has pledged to take advantage of the country's revenues from copper exports to improve education and conditions for the poor. Chile has one of Latin America's most prosperous economies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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