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US journalist killed in Mexico's Oaxaca conflict

Written by: Staff
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OAXACA, Mexico, Oct 28 (Reuters) Gunmen opened fire on protesters in Mexico's colonial city of Oaxaca, killing a US journalist and wounding several people at road blocks set up by leftists pushing to topple a state governor.

Will Bradley Roland, a cameraman working with Indymedia New York, was shot in the chest and died before reaching the hospital, the independent news group said on its Web site.

Emergency services said the journalist died after being shot in the torso in one of two shootouts in the city.

Nine people, mostly protesters, have been killed in a conflict that began in Oaxaca state five months ago, when striking teachers and leftist activists occupied much of the state capital, a popular tourist destination.

Red Cross officials said several people were wounded in the shootings yesterday.

A Reuters photographer said protesters came under fire near barricades on the edge of the city, famous for its colonial architecture, thriving arts scene and indigenous culture.

This week, striking teachers voted to return to classes but many protesters say they will not back down until state Gov Ulises Ruiz is ousted.

Critics accuse Ruiz of corruption and repressive tactics against dissenters, whose roadblocks have driven tourism from the city and hurt business.

President Vicente Fox has vowed to end the conflict before he leaves office on December 1 but negotiations to find a peaceful way out have so far failed.

Reuters DKS VP0650

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