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Ecuador Indians Call Off Protests of US Trade Talks

Indian protesters in Ecuador have temporarily called a halt to nationwide demonstrations over the government's free trade talks with the United States.

The decision came hours after security forces clashed with protesters in the capital city of Quito Thursday. About 400 police officers used tear gas to prevent about 500 students and Indians from marching to the government palace.

At least two police officers and one Indian were injured in the confrontation in the province of Imbabura, north of the capital.

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador has been protesting the trade talks since March 13 by blockading roads, tying up traffic and halting commerce across the highlands.

Protesters fear the trade deal will put them at a disadvantage with U.S. farmers and further disrupt Indian culture.

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