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Chilean police employ tear gas, water cannons at student protest interrupted by masked people

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SANTIAGO, Chile — Student protesters fled a tear gas truck and police water cannons used during a march through the Chilean capital Thursday, but no injuries or arrests were reported.

Thousands of young people unhappy with the pace of education reform under President Michelle Bachelet participated peacefully in the protest.

PHOTO: Young protesters run away from a water cannon, during a student protest in Santiago, Chile, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Tens of thousands of students protested in the third massive march of the year in Chile. The students are unhappy with the pace of education reform that President Michelle Bachelet has been moving forward. (AP Photo / Luis Hidalgo)
Young protesters run away from a water cannon, during a student protest in Santiago, Chile, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Tens of thousands of students protested in the third massive march of the year in Chile. The students are unhappy with the pace of education reform that President Michelle Bachelet has been moving forward. (AP Photo / Luis Hidalgo)

But dozens of unidentified people wearing masks interrupted the march, damaging traffic lights and signs, starting fires in trash containers and throwing sticks and stones at police.

Protest organizers said about 80,000 people took part in the march. Interior Undersecretary Mahmud estimated the number of participants at 25,000.

The demonstration created major traffic jams around Santiago's center.

It was the third major march of the year in the South American country.

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PHOTO: A masked protester runs away from a water cannon, during a student protest in Santiago, Chile, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Tens of thousands of students protested in the third massive march of the year in Chile. The students are unhappy with the pace of education reform that President Michelle Bachelet has been moving forward. (AP Photo / Luis Hidalgo)
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