VALVERDE, Dominican Republic – A police officer was fatally shot on Friday while confronting protesters in the northwestern province of Valverde, Dominican authorities said.
The victim, Irany Cerda Torres, was part of a National Police detachment ordered to disperse a demonstration in the town of Laguna Salada by residents demanding road repairs and better public services.
Protesters set up barricades and burned tires to block traffic on the highway linking Valverde to the neighboring provinces of Montecristi and Santiago, the National Police said.
When Cerda Torres and other officers arrived to clear the obstacles from the road, they came under gunfire from unknown assailants.
One or more shots reached Cerda Torres, who died on the way to the municipal hospital, according to the police statement.
Unrest over the poor quality of infrastructure and unreliable utility service has intensified across the northern Dominican Republic in recent days.
Three people, including a 12-year-old boy, were wounded by buckshot Thursday during protests near Santiago city.