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Nicaragua says it is open to dialogue after 9 dead in riots



MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) – Nicaraguan government says it is ready to negotiate controversial social security reforms that sparked protests and deadly clashes this week.

Vice President, First Lady and government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo have been killed in the riots. She calls the protests "cruel."

Dozens of others were injured or arrested in the chaos in various cities of the Central American nation.

  A Nicaraguan police officer aims his gun at protesting students during a third violent day of clashes in Managua, Nicaragua, Friday, April 20, 2018. The clashes, protesters protesting against social security reforms against riot police and pro-government groups , have shaken the capital and half a dozen other cities in the last three days. The Organization of American States has expressed its concern about the stubbornness and at the same time called on the demonstrators to protest peacefully. (AP Photo / Alfredo Zuniga)

A Nicaraguan policeman aims his gun at protesting students during a third day of violent clashes in Managua, Nicaragua, Friday, April 20, 2018. The clashes against protesters protest against reforms of social security riot police and pro-government groups have shaken the capital and half a dozen other cities in the last three days. The Organization of American States has expressed its concern about the stubbornness and at the same time called on the demonstrators to protest peacefully. (AP Photo / Alfredo Zuniga)

Murillo said late Friday that the government of President Daniel Ortega is responding to calls for a dialogue between Roman Catholic Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes and the private sector.

She added that social security reforms "are not completed proposals, but (rather) we are ready to discuss them."

  A protester shoots during a third day of violent clashes in Managua, Nicaragua, Friday April 20, 2018, from a homemade mortar to the riot police. The clashes Protesters protesting against social security reforms against riot police and pro-government groups have shaken the capital and half a dozen other cities in the past three days. The Organization of American States has expressed its concern about the stubbornness and at the same time called on the demonstrators to protest peacefully. (AP Photo / Alfredo Zuniga)

A protester shoots riot police on Friday, April 20, 2018, during a third day of violent clashes in Managua, Nicaragua, from a home-made mortar to riot police and pro-government groups have the capital and a half Dozens of other cities in the last three days rocked. The Organization of American States has expressed its concern about the stubbornness and at the same time called on the demonstrators to protest peacefully. (AP Photo / Alfredo Zuniga)

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