A student protest in Chile's capital, Santiago, led to violent clashes with police and the desecration of a church on 9 June, as the politically radicalised student movement in the country strengthens.

Students in Chile have become increasingly disenchanted with the left-leaning government led by President Michelle Bachelet. They have accused the government of breaking promises over social and economic reform.

They are also motivated by the government's failure to fully introduce a planned education overhaul, which had to be watered down because of budget restraints. They have promised more protests.

The march resulted in masked protesters storming a church in downtown Santiago, defacing the walls and doors, and destroying a 9ft (3m) tall statue of Jesus Christ.

New Interior Minister Mario Fernandez Baeza led the condemnation of the statue's destruction."What we have just seen is a very troubling symptom of what some people, young people it seems, are starting to do to our country," he said.

But student groups, like the Confech student union, also condemned the vandalisation of the church, and also denounced those involved.

"What happened today is nefarious because these people wearing hoods went into the National Gratitude Church and showed that, in simple words, they're not in favour of free, quality education. They're not in favour of a new change to the finance system [for education]."

Protests such as this one have been increasing in recent weeks, putting increased political pressure on Bachelet's government. The past month has seen students grind to a halt dozens of schools and universities as well as occupy Chile's presidential palace.