A Sandinista party member died and an undetermined number of opposition members were injured in clashes between groups of the two factions on several highways, Nicaraguan media reported Sunday.
The clashes between Sandinista and Liberal supporters came on Saturday afternoon along stretches of the highway from Matagalpa to Esteli, in the northern part of the country, as well as in Leon in the west, when opposition members were returning from a march against President Daniel Ortega held without notable incidents in Managua.
Sandinista supporter Rafael Anibal Luna Ruiz, a 42-year-old mechanic, died in the northern city of Ciudad Dario from wounds suffered when he was hit with stones thrown by Liberals when the pro-Sandinistas went to Managua to attend a demonstration in favor of Ortega, Radio Ya and Channel 4 reported, citing sources close to the government.
The secretary of the opposition Constitutionalist Liberal Party, or PLC, in Matagalpa, Andres Bushting, told reporters that three members of that party were injured when two buses were attacked by supposed Sandinista stone-throwers in that city, 129 kilometers (80 miles) north of the capital.
PLC leaders also said that four other party members were injured when they were hit by stones allegedly hurled by Sandinistas in Esteli, and two others were injured in Ciudad Dario, both in northern Nicaragua.
At least six Liberals were also injured by stones supposedly thrown by Sandinistas in Puertas Viejas, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Managua, party spokesmen said.
Opposition legislator Miguel Rosales said that the national headquarters of the PLC in Managua was attacked by Sandinistas throwing stones and homemade explosives causing as yet unquantified material damage.
Rosales said that the opposition party leadership on Monday will file a complaint with the police over the attacks PLC members suffered on Saturday.
Top officials with the National Police still have not provided their version of the violent outbreaks on Saturday.
Thousands of people marched in Managua on Saturday to protest the “harassment” of the opposition by the Sandinista government, as well as to protest the judicial ruling that will allow Ortega to run for reelection in 2011, according to march organizers.
The Sandinistas, meanwhile, held a demonstration that attracted several thousand people in a city square on the southern outskirts of Managua to celebrate the triumph of the governing party in the municipal elections on Nov. 9, 2008, which were considered “fraudulent” by the opposition.