Protesters burn state building in southern Mexico

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Protestors burn state building in Mexico
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Protesters burn state building in southern Mexico
A police helicopter flies overhead as the Guerrero state capital building burns after it was set on fire by protesting college students in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Alejandrino Gonzalez)
A burning overturned car stands between protesting students and riot police after it was set on fire by protesting college students outside of the Guerrero state capital building in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
A police helicopter flies overhead as the Guerrero state capital building burns after it was set on fire by protesting college students in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Alejandrino Gonzalez)
College Students burn a portrait of Guerrero state governor Angel Aguirre as they trash and later set on fire the state capital building in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
An overturned car burns after it was set on fire by protesting college students outside of the Guerrero state capital building in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Alejandrino Gonzalez)
An overturned car burns after it was set on fire by protesting college students outside of the Guerrero state capital building in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Alejandrino Gonzalez)
College students gather next to a perimeter fence protecting the Guerrero state capital building in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
College students jump a perimeter fence as they try to reach the Guerrero state capital building in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
A college student sits on a wall as he uses a slingshot to throw rocks at the Guerrero state capital building in Chilpancingo, Mexico, Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Hundreds of protesting teachers and students demanding answers about the 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 during a confrontation with police, clashed with police at the local congress and outside the state government palace Monday. Officials are attempting to determine if any of the missing students are in newly discovered mass graves. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
In this April 10, 2013 photo, a teacher swings an axe at the security gates in front the Guerrero state capital building, in Chilpancingo, Mexico. Teachers marched by the thousands through the streets, some masked and brandishing metal bars and sticks in an escalating showdown over education reform that's become a key test of President Enrique Pena Nieto's sweeping project to reform Mexico's educational system. Pena Nieto's first major legislative victory after taking office in December was a constitutional amendment eliminating Mexico's decades-old practice of buying and selling teaching jobs, and replacing it with a standardized national teaching test. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) - Hundreds of students and teachers smashed windows and set fires inside a state capital building in southern Mexico on Monday, as fury erupted over the disappearance of 43 young people believed abducted by local police linked to a drug cartel.

The protesters called for the 43 students from a rural teachers' college in Guerrero state, missing since Sept. 26, to be returned alive, even though fears have grown that 10 newly discovered mass graves could contain their bodies.

AP photographs showed smoke billowing from the government building in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero, and flames licking from office windows. Firefighters battled the blaze.

Jose Villanueva Manzanarez, spokesman for Guerrero's government, said the protesting members of a teachers' union initially tried to get into the state congress in Chilpancingo but were repelled by anti-riot police. They then headed to the state government palace.

With the support of hundreds of students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' college, the teachers blockaded the capital building, attacking it with battle bars, rocks and Molotov cocktails, he said.

The violence came more than two weeks after police in Iguala, also in Guerrero state, opened fire on the teacher's college students, killing at least six. Witnesses have said that dozens of students were taken away by police and have not been seen since. Twenty-six local police officers have been detained, and officials are attempting to determine if any of the students are in the mass graves nearby.

The confrontation in Iguala shed light on a widespread problem with local police in Mexico: They are often linked to organized crime. In the case of Iguala, the police who attacked the students were working with the local cartel, Guerreros Unidos, according to testimony of those arrested.

Monday's protests came after police in Guerrero shot and wounded a German university student in a reported case of mistaken identity, prosecutors said.

The victim, Kim Fritz Kaiser, is an exchange student at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico City campus, said institute director Pedro Grassa.

He told Milenio television Monday that Kaiser is in good condition and that that injury was not grave, though Kaiser will remain under observation.

Kaiser was in a van with other students - another German, two French and six Mexicans - traveling back from Acapulco and passing through Chilpancingo just after a confrontation between police and kidnappers that killed one officer.

Police tried to stop the van, believing it was suspicious. Police said they opened fire when they heard something that sounded like a shot or detonation, said Victor Leon Maldonado of the Guerrero state prosecutor's office. The students kept driving, fearing that armed men might be trying to kidnap them, state prosecutor Inaky Blanco said.

Maldonado told reporters in a press conference that the officers shot at the bottom of the van, trying to hit the tires to make it stop. Kaiser was shot in the buttocks. The police involved have been detained and their weapons are being tested, according to a statement from the state attorney general's office.

A U.S. State Department travel warning issued last week said U.S. citizens should avoid Chilpancingo along with all parts of Guerrero state outside of the Pacific resorts of Acapulco, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo and the tourist attractions of Taxco and the Cacahuamilpa caves.

A previous warning in January already advised against travel in the northwestern part of the state near the border with Mexico state, where Iguala is located.

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