(From BBC News)
Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has refused to bow to protesters’ demands that he stand down.
He said the deaths of about 300 people during three months of protests were caused by paramilitary groups, during an interview with US news channel Fox.
He said the groups behind the violence were funded by opposition MPs and drug cartels but provided no evidence of the alleged links.
Human rights groups say armed groups loyal to the state are responsible.
Speaking following scathing international criticism of his government’s actions during the anti-government protests, President Ortega went on the offensive, blaming the opposition for the turmoil his country has been experiencing.