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Nicaraguan government agrees to release prisoners to restart dialogue

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By Ismael Lopez

MANAGUA (Reuters) – The Nicaraguan government said on Wednesday it would release within 90 days all people arrested during several months of protests against President Daniel Ortega, as a step to restarting dialogue with opposition groups.

At least 320 people have been killed, many more wounded, and several hundred detained in a crackdown on protests that were triggered last April by a social security reform but quickly swelled into a national call to oust Ortega.

Government talks resumed with the opposition last month after a first attempt at agreement fell apart, but broke down again when the opposition made talks conditional on the release of political prisoners. In a joint statement with opposition leaders, the government said it would release people arrested since April 18 of last year.

About 500 people remain in prison, according to Civic Alliance, a group that is part of the opposition.

(Reporting by Ismael Lopez; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon and Peter Cooney)

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