Saturday, May 25, 2013

Violent Clashes Erupt in Guinea-Conakry

Violent clashes erupt in Guinea-Conakry protests

Sat May 25, 2013 1:31PM GMT

Violent clashes have broken out between security forces and opposition activists in the capital city of Guinea-Conakry, leaving over a dozen people injured.

The clashes erupted as anti-government protesters shut down large parts of the capital Conakry and put up barricades across roads to block major highways into the city center.

Medics say four of the severely injured are now in critical condition.

The government spokesman, Damantang Albert Camara, said in a statement that the "protest had turned into a day of vandalism and assaults on representatives of law enforcement," adding, "Bystanders and hooligans ... attacked peaceful civilian populations and private businesses."

The protests were called on Friday by opposition activists, a day after six people were killed in anti-government rallies.

The clashes are the latest in a series of disputes between the opposition leader Cellou Dallein Diallo and the ruling party over the details of parliamentary elections scheduled for June 30.

The elections have been repeatedly delayed since 2011, and the last legislative elections were held in 2002 in the African nation.

The opposition leader Diallo is accusing the government of President Alpha Conde of planning to rig the vote. At least 17 people have lost their lives in the violence in recent weeks.

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