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Mexican riot police beat protesters

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MEXICO CITY — Riot police clashed with supporters of Mexico's long-ruling party Friday, kicking and beating protesters after they tried unsuccessfully to storm an electoral office in Mexico state.

The clash in Nezahualcoyotl, the country's fifth-largest city, was one of at least a dozen that have erupted in the state bordering the capital since Sunday's historic elections.

Protesters in Nezahualcoyotl claimed the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, won the mayoral race despite official results favoring the leftist Democratic Revolution Party candidate.

Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters. Others beat the PRI supporters, injuring several.

"My people were defending themselves, nothing more," said Dr. Aurelio Salinas, the PRI's mayoral candidate for the city of 1.2 million.

The protesters allege Democratic Revolution used fraud to claim the mayoral race and have demanded a second vote.

However, state election officials said Friday they don't plan to call for new balloting in any of the cities where postelection disturbances have erupted.

Other parties also protested elections. Even supporters of Mexico's new president-elect, Vicente Fox, burned ballots in the streets of San Felipe and Ixtlahuaca, alleging fraud by the PRI.

Fox, of the center-right National Action Party, won Sunday's vote, ending the PRI's 71-year lock on the presidency. With all the votes counted Friday, Fox had 42.5 percent; PRI candidate Francisco Labastida, 36.1 percent; and Democratic Revoluation candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, 16.6 percent.

Three days later, National Action supporters stormed vote-counting offices in the two towns, setting a total of 85,000 ballots on fire.

All the ballots already had been legally counted in both offices before they were burned, a state election official said on condition of anonymity. Officials of the National Action Party did not return calls seeking comment.

Meanwhile, Javier Calvillo Ramos, mayor of Huixquilucan in Mexico state, was shot at Thursday night when he left a restaurant in Mexico City to make a call on his cellular phone. Calvillo, who was reaching into his car at the time of the shooting, was unhurt.