1 killed in violence near Bolivian fuel plant

An Army helicopter flies over the road leading to the state-own Senkata filling gas plant in El Alto, on the outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia, as supporters of former President Evo Morales set up barricades, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Morales' backers have taken to the streets asking for his return since he resigned on Nov. 10 under pressure from the military after weeks of protests against him over a disputed election he claim to have won. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
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Security forces in Bolivia on Tuesday launched an operation to supply gasoline from a major fuel plant that had been blockaded by supporters of former President Evo Morales.

At least one person was killed and eight were injured during the operation in the city of El Alto, near La Paz, the public defender’s office and a hospital said.

The circumstances of the violence were not immediately clear, though an Associated Press journalist in the area heard shooting near the fuel plant.

Smoke rose from fires set by protesters and a military helicopter was seen flying over the area.

The public defender’s office identified the man who was killed as 31-year-old Deybi Posto Cusi.

Some Bolivian cities have reported food and gasoline shortages because of demonstrations by pro-Morales groups. The operation by security forces was aimed at restoring the supply of fuel to communities.

Víctor Hugo Zamora, the hydrocarbons minister, told ATB television that 23 tanker trucks were able to load up on fuel at the plant after days of blockades.

Morales resigned on Nov. 10 following a disputed election and massive protests by Bolivians who believe he rigged the vote. He left for asylum in Mexico.

About two-dozen people have been killed in unrest since the Oct. 20 election. An interim government says it wants to organize new elections, but it faces fierce opposition from Morales’ camp.

A U.N. envoy and church groups are trying to broker dialogue among Bolivia’s factions.q