Bolivia’s ousted leader Evo Morales pleaded with his country’s military to stop firing on unarmed demonstrators protesting the coup-imposed interim leadership, after several activists were killed in clashes with security forces.

“We ask the armed forces and the Bolivian Police to stop the massacre,” Morales said in a tweet late on Friday. “The uniform of the institutions of the Homeland cannot be stained with the blood of our people.”

At least five protesters were killed and some 75 injured in the streets of Cochabamba on Friday during hectic skirmishes with police and military after thousands of indigenous Morales backers gathered to protest the socialist leader’s ouster. Though there was no violence at the rally in the morning, clashes broke out when the military blocked the march from crossing a nearby checkpoint.

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