SANTIAGO, CHILE -- A two-year-old boy was shot dead in Santiago and a policeman was wounded by a bullet at the end of a 24-hour strike called by Chilean opposition trades unions, witnesses said.

The wounding of the policeman brought to at least seven the number of people injured during the strike, while more than 400 people were detained -- at least briefly -- in a series of protests in Santiago and other cities. It was unclear how the child was shot.

Earlier, witnesses said a youth had been shot and wounded by a policeman and five other people were injured by anti-riot pellets in confrontations with security forces which were the most violent seen in Chile in over a year.

As darkness fell, youths in outlying working-class districts, traditional hotbeds of anti-military feeling, manned burning barricades and shots and explosions were heard. Some areas of the capital were temporarily plunged into darkness after bombs downed power lines.

Despite the demonstrations, the strike appeared to have won only limited backing from Chilean workers who risk dismissal for illegal stoppages. The government dismissed the strike as a failure. "Chileans have turned up for work as normal," Interior Minister Sergio Fernandez said.