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Movie theater burns as Chile police clash with protesters

An independent movie theater burned Friday following clashes in which police fired tear gas and fired water cannon at protesters in Chile's capital.

The fire at the Alameda Cultural Center began shortly after the clashes nearby, which continued a string of Friday demonstrations that have rocked the country since October.

Demonstrators made way for firetrucks arriving to fight the blaze at the building, which also has been a staging ground for volunteer medics who have been treating injured demonstrators.

A Chilean anti-government demonstrator is sprayed by a police water cannon as he throws stones during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

Firefighters told local reporters the building was badly damaged and the cause would be investigated.

Earlier, a court ordered six police officers detained for investigation of alleged torture or sexual abuse of protesters — one of many complaints filed against police during the protests.

Chilean anti-government demonstrators dry their clothes in a fire after being sprayed by a police water cannon during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

A Chilean anti-government demonstrator wears an alien costume during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

Chilean firefighters refreshed after controlled the flames on the cinema and art center of Alameda that caught on fire amid an anti-government protest where police were firing tear gas and water cannons in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

A Chilean anti-government demonstrator waves a flag with the image of Chile's President Sebatian Pinera during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

Chilean policemen run toward anti-government demonstrators during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

A Chilean anti-government demonstrator display a national flag to a group of policemen during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

Chilean anti-government demonstrators display national flags during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

A Chilean anti-government demonstrator sprays a mix of water with bicarbonate to combat the effect of the tear gase fired by policemen during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)

A Chilean policeman throws a tear gas canister toward anti-government demonstrators during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Chile has been roiled by continuing and sometimes violent street protests since Oct. 18, when a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely focus on inequality. (AP PhotoFernando Llano)