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Workers, security guards clash at Rio Olympic Park

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm •  Published: April 7, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Striking construction workers and security personnel clashed Monday at Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Park, the main cluster of venues under construction for the 2016 Summer Games.

Rio Mais, the consortium building the Olympic venues, confirmed that random gunshots were fired as workers and security confronted each other. There were no reports of injuries at the venue cluster, which is located 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of central Rio.

The work stoppage involving more than 2,000 workers began Thursday, and Rio Mais said it was unclear when work would resume.

"We are worried by the fact we are losing time," said Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio Olympic organizing committee. "Beyond that, there is catch-up to do and we will have to move faster to make up whatever time we've lost."

Andrada said he didn't have any details about the gunfire.

"Gunshots and violence worry us," he added. "But right now we don't know where this came from."

The labor dispute centers around which union represents the construction workers, and also involves benefits and working conditions.

Workers also went on strike Monday in central Rio de Janeiro at the stadium that will be used for track and field at the 2016 Olympics. The Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium, known in Rio as the Engenhao, has been closed since last year to fix structural problems with the roof.

The strikes are sure to capture the attention of the International Olympic Committee executive board, which is meeting this week in the Turkish Mediterranean resort of Belek.

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