Heavily-armed police and soldiers enter El Salvador parliament

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Heavily-armed police and soldiers in El Salvador have forced their way into parliament, demanding the approval of a $109m (£85m) loan to better equip them.

They entered the building as President Nayib Bukele was about to address lawmakers. On Friday, he gave them seven days to back his loan plan.

Opposition politicians called the appearance of armed men in parliament an unprecedented act of intimidation.

El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Most of the violence is carried out by criminal gangs that operate across Central America.

President Bukele, who took office in June 2019, wants to use the loan to improve the equipment of police and the armed forces in the fight against crime.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele addresses his supporters outside the parliament building in San Salvador. Photo: 9 February 2020
President Nayib Bukele addressed his supporters outside the parliament building

He has pledged to tackle the legacy of gang violence and corruption in the impoverished Central American nation.

On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered outside the parliament building in the capital San Salvador to show their support for the president’s security plan.

BBC

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