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Southern Peru in state of emergency

Nov. 6, 2008 at 12:24 AM

LIMA, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Southern Peru is under martial law after Prime Minister Yehude Simon declared a state of emergency to deal with violent protests in the region.

Citizens are banned from meeting in public places or moving freely about the four provinces affected by the declaration invoked Tuesday night, Living in Peru reported Wednesday. The emergency decree is effective for 30 days in the provinces of Tacna, Jorge Basadre, Candarave and Tarata.

The decree also gives military personnel authority to inspect homes and private property where criminals are thought to be.

The action was taken after protesters attacked officers and set a police station on fire Tuesday afternoon. Citizens also used homemade bombs to set fire to a judicial building and a municipal office, Living in Peru reported.

The violent demonstrations were a reaction to a new law passed by the country's congress that redistributes taxes paid by mining companies. The law will benefit citizens in the neighboring region of Moquegua.

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