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Nicaragua talks on hold as both sides trade accusations

Nicaragua's government and opposition are accusing each other of undermining the latest round political dialogue, after police arrested more than 100 people at a weekend protest.

The opposition Civic Alliance condemned the government's "violent repression" of Saturday's protest march. It said some 164 people were arrested.

The government on Monday complained that opposition representatives participating in negotiations had participated in the demonstration, which it labeled a "provocation." It said there were 107 arrests and the detainees were released hours later.

Demonstrators chant during a protest demanding the government release hundreds of protesters held in custody since 2018, in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, March 16, 2019. Nicaragua's government banned opposition protests in September and police broke up Saturday's attempt at a demonstration. (AP PhotoAlfredo Zuniga)

Vatican Ambassador to Nicaragua Waldemar Sommertag has been mediating the talks and he urged patience Monday.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights says at least 325 people have died in protests or related violence since April 2018.

Police detain protesters in Managua, Nicaragua, Saturday, March 16, 2019. Nicaragua's government banned opposition protests in September and police broke up Saturday's attempt at a demonstration to pressure the government to release hundreds of protesters held in custody since 2018. (AP PhotoAlfredo Zuniga)