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Military police shoot tear gas during violent Rio protest

Military police shoot tear gas during violent Rio protest

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Military police in Rio de Janeiro are shooting tear gas to quell a violent protest outside the state legislature.

The protesters are denouncing a proposal to privatize the state's water and sewage company.

Several protesters with covered faces began vandalizing buildings next to the legislature Thursday, and some threw rocks and gasoline bombs at police.

Police shot gas at the protesters and walked through the streets in formation.

Several protests in front of the legislature have become violent in recent months. The state of Rio de Janeiro is mired in a deep financial crisis. Thousands of state workers are being paid months late. Legislators are considering several austerity measures, and now the privatization of the public utility.