US evacuates non-essential embassy staff from Nicaragua

Washington, Jul 7 (IANS): The US State department has ordered the evacuation of all non-essential staff from its embassy in Nicaragua due to the ongoing protests that have gripped the Central American nation for over the past two months.

The US had already authorised the voluntary evacuation of non-essential employees on April 23, shortly after the outbreak of unrest, which has led to the deaths of at least 310 people, reports Efe news.

Friday's evacuation order means only the ambassador and a few high-level officials remain in Nicaragua.

Protests broke out on April 18 against the government of President Daniel Ortega over proposed social security reforms.

The demonstrators were soon calling for the resignation of Ortega, who has been in power for 11 years.