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Reports: Nicaragua Crackdown Claims 10 More Lives

FILE - Heavily armed Nicaraguan police take their positions before the arrival of President Daniel Ortega, in Masaya, Nicaragua, July 13, 2018. According to human rights groups, some 270 people have been killed since April 19, when demonstrations against Ortega's government began.

A Nicaraguan human rights group says government forces killed 10 people and wounded 20 during an operation in southern Nicaragua Sunday, as protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega continue.

The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights said two children are among the dead. Officials have not commented.

"We are being attacked by the National Police and paramilitaries armed with AK-47s and machine guns in our own indigenous neighborhood of Monimbo," a resident told the French News Agency. "We are resisting with homemade bombs and stones."

Sunday's violence was reportedly launched in the city of Masaya.

Human rights activists and religious leaders say the government is ignoring calls for dialogue with the protesters.

Anti-Ortega demonstrations erupted in April when he announced plans to reform the country's pension system.

Ortega later dropped his plans, but protests have continued and the government's violent crackdown against protesters has left about 270 people dead.

They include two students killed in a church in Managua Saturday. Police had besieged the church, leaving students and reporters huddled on the floor for more than 20 hours.

Some protesters are calling for early elections but Ortega has rejected such calls.