Nicaraguan Students Trapped in Church by Pro-Government Militias

Dozens of Nicaraguan university students are trapped inside a church in the country’s capital after pro-government militias stormed the area and attacked anti-government protesters. “They have snipers in front and we can’t move,” one student told The Washington Post. The students spent the night under siege in the Church of the Divine Mercy along with priests and other civilians after heavily armed pro-government forces attacked barricades erected by students and protesters at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua. The students, who are demanding the ouster of President Daniel Ortega, defended their blockades against heavy gunfire but ultimately retreated to the church. At least seven injuries were reported among those holed up in the church, and police allowed several wounded people to be transported to a hospital late Friday, according to The Washington Post. Paramilitary forces and police have reportedly blocked off all exit routes from the church, however, leaving protesters trapped inside. “I don’t know why they want to attack us here,” priest Raul Zamora told a local radio station . “It’s like they want to assassinate all the students.”