SANTIAGO, CHILE - OCTOBER 23: Demonstrators spread a giant flag of Chile as they gather at Plaza italia against President Sebastian Piñera during the sixth day of protest against President Sebastian Piñera on October 23, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. Although President Sebastian Piñera announced yesterday a few measures to improve equality, unions called for a national strike and demonstrations continue as casualties are now 18. Demands behind the protest include issues like health care, pension system, privatization of water, public transport, education, social mobility and corruption. (Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)
Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
SANTIAGO, CHILE - OCTOBER 23: Demonstrators spread a giant flag of Chile as they gather at Plaza italia against President Sebastian Piñera during the sixth day of protest against President Sebastian Piñera on October 23, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. Although President Sebastian Piñera announced yesterday a few measures to improve equality, unions called for a national strike and demonstrations continue as casualties are now 18. Demands behind the protest include issues like health care, pension system, privatization of water, public transport, education, social mobility and corruption. (Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:51
Unidentified vehicle rams into protesters in Chile
screengrab japan fukushima daiichi
IAEA
screengrab japan fukushima daiichi
Now playing
02:31
Japan plans to release treated Fukushima water into sea
SUEZ, EGYPT - MARCH 29: The container ship 'Ever Given' is refloated, unblocking the Suez Canal on March 29, 2021 in Suez, Egypt. This morning the container ship came partly unstuck from the shoreline, where it ran aground in the canal last Tuesday, and later resumed its course shortly after 3pm local time. The Suez Canal is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes and the blockage had created a backlog of vessels at either end, raising concerns over the impact on global shipping and supply chains. (Photo by Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images)
Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images
SUEZ, EGYPT - MARCH 29: The container ship 'Ever Given' is refloated, unblocking the Suez Canal on March 29, 2021 in Suez, Egypt. This morning the container ship came partly unstuck from the shoreline, where it ran aground in the canal last Tuesday, and later resumed its course shortly after 3pm local time. The Suez Canal is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes and the blockage had created a backlog of vessels at either end, raising concerns over the impact on global shipping and supply chains. (Photo by Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:57
Egypt seizes Ever Given ship, asks for $900M in compensation
Taiwan has been the chief source of tension between Washington and Beijing for decades and is widely seen as the most likely trigger for a potentially catastrophic US-China war. The worry about Taiwan comes as China wields new strength from years of military buildup. CNN's David Culver reports.
PLA Air Force/Weibo
Taiwan has been the chief source of tension between Washington and Beijing for decades and is widely seen as the most likely trigger for a potentially catastrophic US-China war. The worry about Taiwan comes as China wields new strength from years of military buildup. CNN's David Culver reports.
Now playing
04:04
Dramatic videos show Chinese naval exercises amid rising tensions over Taiwan
CNN
Now playing
05:40
Unprecedented footage shows front line of Ukrainian conflict with Russia
5995404 02.09.2019 Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a news conference following his meeting with his Russian counterpart Minister Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow, Russia. Iliya Pitalev / Sputnik  via AP
Iliya Pitalev/SPTNK/Sputnik via AP
5995404 02.09.2019 Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a news conference following his meeting with his Russian counterpart Minister Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow, Russia. Iliya Pitalev / Sputnik via AP
Now playing
04:09
Iran accuses Israel of sabotaging nuclear site, vows revenge
Ash rises into the air as La Soufriere volcano erupts on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, seen from Chateaubelair, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Orvil Samuel/AP
Ash rises into the air as La Soufriere volcano erupts on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, seen from Chateaubelair, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Now playing
01:08
See the looming clouds of ash over La Soufrière volcano
screengrab Vanuatu villagers mourn philip
Reuters
screengrab Vanuatu villagers mourn philip
Now playing
02:03
Remote tribe worships Prince Philip as god, mourns his death
ITN
Now playing
01:15
Prince Charles speaks following Prince Philip's death
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 10: The Honourable Artillery Company fire a gun salute at The Tower of London on April 10, 2021 in London, United Kingdom.  The Death Gun Salute will be fired at 1200 marking the death of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Across the country and the globe saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds, 1 round at the start of each minute, for 40 minutes. Gun salutes are customarily fired, both on land and at sea, as a sign of respect or welcome. The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, said "His Royal Highness has been a great friend, inspiration and role model for the Armed Forces and he will be sorely missed." (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 10: The Honourable Artillery Company fire a gun salute at The Tower of London on April 10, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. The Death Gun Salute will be fired at 1200 marking the death of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Across the country and the globe saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds, 1 round at the start of each minute, for 40 minutes. Gun salutes are customarily fired, both on land and at sea, as a sign of respect or welcome. The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, said "His Royal Highness has been a great friend, inspiration and role model for the Armed Forces and he will be sorely missed." (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:03
Prince Philip tributes pour in from around the world
CNN Weather
Now playing
01:35
Powerful Tropical Cyclone Seroja takes aim at Western Australia
People view flowers left in front of the gate at Buckingham Palace in London, after the announcement of the death of Britain's Prince Philip, Friday, April 9, 2021. Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died. He was 99. Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle.
Matt Dunham/AP
People view flowers left in front of the gate at Buckingham Palace in London, after the announcement of the death of Britain's Prince Philip, Friday, April 9, 2021. Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died. He was 99. Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle.
Now playing
01:54
Tributes to Prince Philip pour in from around the world
Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, attends a Parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt in central London on August 2, 2017.  
After a lifetime of public service by the side of his wife Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip finally retires on August 2, 2017,at the age of 96. The Duke of Edinburgh attended a parade of Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace, the last of 22,219 solo public engagements since she ascended to the throne in 1952.
 / AFP PHOTO / POOL / HANNAH MCKAY        (Photo credit should read HANNAH MCKAY/AFP/Getty Images)
HANNAH MCKAY/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, attends a Parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt in central London on August 2, 2017. After a lifetime of public service by the side of his wife Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip finally retires on August 2, 2017,at the age of 96. The Duke of Edinburgh attended a parade of Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace, the last of 22,219 solo public engagements since she ascended to the throne in 1952. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / HANNAH MCKAY (Photo credit should read HANNAH MCKAY/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:39
The life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
screengrab myanmar ambassador to UK
CNN
screengrab myanmar ambassador to UK
Now playing
01:02
Video shows Myanmar's ambassador 'locked out' of embassy
King Abdullah II of Jordan and his half brother, former crown prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein
AFP/Getty Images
King Abdullah II of Jordan and his half brother, former crown prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein
Now playing
02:39
Jordan's King breaks silence about family fallout
CNN
Now playing
06:13
Inside Iraq's crippling crystal meth crisis
(CNN) —  

Protesters and police clashed once again in the Chilean capital of Santiago on Thursday, as authorities extended a curfew for the sixth consecutive night. An apology from President Sebastian Pinera failed to temper escalating levels of violence on the streets, which have so far led to at least 18 deaths.

The United Nations human rights council plans to send a special mission to investigate allegations of rights abuses in the South American country amid a week of deadly clashes between protesters and police, UN human rights chief and former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Protests have paralyzed parts of the capital city for seven days in a row and Chilean police have responded to demonstrators by firing tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons.

In a national televised address Tuesday night, Pinera apologized for “decades” of accumulated problems and announced a new social and economic agenda in the wake of the deadly unrest.

“It’s true – problems have not occurred in recent days. They have been accumulating for decades,” he said of the South American country of 18 million people.

The President promised social and economic reforms to tackle issues at the heart of the unrest, including pension raises, affordable medical insurance, lowering the prices of medicines and stabilizing electricity prices.

Tensions escalated Wednesday when a four-year-old child was killed after a person driving an unidentified vehicle rammed into a crowd in the city of San Pedro de la Paz. One other person died in the incident.

A third person was killed Wednesday after being attacked by Chilean police in Santiago, Interior Undersecretary Rodrigo Ubilla told reporters.

The three deaths raised the confirmed death toll from the protests to 18.

 A demonstrator jumps in front of a police vehicle during the sixth day of protest against President Sebastian Pinera.
Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
A demonstrator jumps in front of a police vehicle during the sixth day of protest against President Sebastian Pinera.

Growing frustration

Pinera’s address has done little to calm the protests, which began over a now-suspended price hike for subway tickets in Santiago but have since expanded, revealing deep-seated anger among ordinary Chileans who feel they have been excluded from the nation’s economic rise.

Many are frustrated over economic inequalities, living costs and rising debt in a country that remains among the most prosperous and stable in Latin America.

The government has extended a curfew for the Santiago metropolitan region for a fifth consecutive day. Classes and schools in the city have also been suspended until Friday.

Aerial view showing riot police spraying water at demonstrators in Santiago on October 23, 2019.
Javier Torres/AFP/Getty Images
Aerial view showing riot police spraying water at demonstrators in Santiago on October 23, 2019.

The curfew began at 10 p.m. local time (9 p.m. ET) Wednesday and will end at 4 a.m. (3 a.m. ET) Thursday, “limiting citizens mobility in order to guarantee the tranquility and order in the area,” according to a Twitter statement from the Head of the National Defense.

In his address, Pinera stressed the importance of peace and told Chileans that the government will lift the curfew when public order and tranquility are restored.

While much of the protesters have been peaceful, there has been widespread vandalism, looting and arson of shops, business and metro stations. The corporate headquarters of a utility company in downtown Santiago were firebombed Friday, and on Saturday, in the port city of Valparaiso, the offices of the country’s oldest newspaper, Mercurio were torched, Reuters reported.

Several cities in the country have been placed under a state of emergency as thousands have taken to the streets. The government deployed the military to put down the unrest – the first time since Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year military dictatorship ended in 1990.

People take items from a looted supermarket in Santiago.
Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images
People take items from a looted supermarket in Santiago.

Human Rights Watch has called on the government to investigate crimes committed by demonstrators as well as security forces who responded with excessive force.

“We are deeply concerned by the images of instances of police brutality coming out of Chile,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “President Pinera should make clear to Chilean security forces that they need to respect human rights and ensure that agents implicated in abuses are promptly and impartially investigated.”

Chile is one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries, but it also has one of highest levels of income inequality in the world.

Almost a third of Chilean workers are employed in informal or non-permanent jobs, and one in two Chileans has low literacy skills, according to the OECD.

CNN’s Clara Lopez, Helena de Moura, Jackie Castillo, Flora Charner and Florencia Trucco in Atlanta and Christopher Ulloa in Santiago contributed reporting.