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Chilean Demonstrators Clash With Police Over Dam Projects

An environment supporter kicks a tear gas canister in Santiago, May 13, 2011, during a rally against hydro-power dam project which will be built at the southern Chilean Patagonia

Chilean police used water cannons late Friday to break up activists protesting dam projects for generating electricity.

Media reports say the confrontations occurred in Patagonia,Valparaiso and the city of Coihaique.

The government says the five dams being proposed are necessary to match the demands for electricity linked to the country's future economic growth.

Environmentalists say the dams will destroy habitats of endangered species.

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