efe-epaWashington DC

The State department of the United States on Friday ordered the evacuation of all non-essential staff from its embassy in Nicaragua due to the ongoing protests that have gripped the Central American nation for over the past two months.

The US had already authorized the voluntary evacuation of non-essential employees on Apr. 23, shortly after the outbreak of unrest, which has led to the deaths of at least 310 people.

Friday's evacuation order means only the ambassador and a few high-level officials remain in Nicaragua.

Protests broke out on Apr. 18 against the government of president Daniel Ortega and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, over proposed social security reforms.

The demonstrators were soon calling for the resignation of Ortega, who has been in power for 11 years.

Humanitarian organisations estimate that the violent clashes between protesters and police have left 310 people dead.