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Thousands protest in Peru as president feels heat

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Demonstrators throw stones at riot police in Lima on July 27, 2013. Peruvian police used tear gas and water cannon to drive back thousands of demonstrators protesting against what they said were President Ollanta Humala's failed promises on schools and jobs. (AFP)

Peruvian police used tear gas and water cannon to drive back thousands of demonstrators protesting against what they said were President Ollanta Humala's failed promises on schools and jobs.

On the eve of Independence Day celebrations, some 6,000 marchers heeded a call by the country's largest union confederation, CGTP, to turn out in force.

Those taking to the streets included university students, non-governmental activists and human rights groups.

In addition to a national doctors' and nurses strike, Humala now faces unions calling for a rethinking of a new law they fear will force the government to lay off huge numbers of state workers.

Students, meanwhile, are upset about a bill in the legislature that they fear will undercut the autonomy of universities.