The death toll in Nicaragua from protests against President Daniel Ortega’s rule has increased to 155 after a 15-year-old boy was shot dead, authorities said.
The Catholic Church on Thursday mourned the death of the young altar boy, who fell victim to a surprise attack by “paramilitaries” of the government, reports Efe news.
“The message that has just arrived has made me cry, God has welcomed Sandor Dolmus, an altar boy murdered today by paramilitaries in Leon, to the altar of heaven,” said Bishop Silvio Baez.
The altar boy was with other children and neighbours, when the paramilitary group left the headquarters of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and sprayed bullets at them, priest Victor Morales of the diocese of Leon told reporters.
The young man was shot in the chest with a high-caliber firearm and died a few minutes later, the priest said.
Dolmus was an altar boy at the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary in Leon, classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
In addition to the deaths, some 1,000 people had been injured during the civil unrest which began on April 18.
Ortega’s government, which has ruled for the past 11 years, blames opposition political groups for the “criminal violence” and denied reports of “riot squads or paramilitary groups linked to the government” who protesters blame for the deaths.