Chilean Catholic church looted by vandals as protests rage

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Hooded protesters in Chile looted a church near the main gathering site of massive demonstrations in the capital over inequality

Hooded protesters in Chile looted a Roman Catholic church near the main gathering site of massive demonstrations in the capital over inequality.

An Associated Press photographer on Friday witnessed vandals dragging church pews, statues of Jesus Christ and other religious iconography onto the street and lighting them on fire.

Ashes spread to the main square where thousands of people continue to march, waving national flags.

Some rock-throwing demonstrators have been clashing with riot police who are responding with tear gas and water cannons.

The unrest began last month over a subway fare hike. But it has morphed into a movement demanding a broad range of changes.

Most of the protests have been peaceful, but some have turned violent.

At least 20 people have died in clashes, looting and arson.