Demonstrators set on fire part of the Congress building during a protest demanding the resignation of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.

Flames rip through Guatemala's Congress as street battles rage

Hundreds of protesters broke into Guatemala's Congress and burned part of the building amid growing demonstrations against President Alejandro Giammattei and his government for approving a budget that cut educational and health spending.

The incident came as about 7,000 people were demonstrating in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City against the budget.

Protesters say the measures were negotiated and passed by legislators in secret while the Central American country was distracted by the fallout of back-to-back hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giammattei had not responded publicly to the protests and Vice President Guillermo Castillo has offered to resign.

Discontent had been building over the new 2021 budget on social media and clashes erupted during demonstrations.