At least 17 killed in deadliest day of Peru protests

STORY: At least 17 people have been killed in violent anti-government protests in southern Peru, the country's human rights office said on Monday.

The clashes broke out in the southern city of Juliaca where demonstrators, calling for the release of jailed former President Pedro Castillo, used improvised sling-shots to throw rocks at police.

Footage showed people with severe injuries in a crowded hospital waiting room.

One man had a wound on his leg.

Authorities said two teenagers were among the dead.

The latest casualties take the death toll from the protests to 39 since they began in early December.

The unrest was sparked by the removal from office and arrest of Castillo after he tried to illegally dissolve Congress.

He is now serving 18 months of pre-trial detention on charges of rebellion, which he denies.

As well as calling for his release, the protesters want President Dina Boluarte to resign, Congress to be closed, a new constitution, and early elections.