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Guinea elections: Three die as police break up protest
At least three protesters were killed in the Guinean capital, Conakry, when security forces broke up an opposition demonstration. Police used tear gas and batons against the stone-throwing protesters. Dozens of police vehicles and paramilitary forces prevented opposition activists from reaching a stadium.
The clash took place in the run-up to parliamentary elections, due to be held in December. Guineans voted in presidential elections last November for the first time since independence in 1958. But onlookers fear that the historic democratic gains could be under threat.
Parliamentary polls should have been held within six months but have now been fixed for 29 December by the authorities and the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Opposition leaders say they fear the elections will be a sham. Leading opposition figure Cellou Dalein Diallo, who narrowly lost in last year’s poll, has accused President Alpha Conde of installing a close ally as CENI head and of trying to tamper with voter rolls.
The incident took place on the eve of the second anniversary of a massacre in the stadium when soldiers loyal to the government shot dead more than 150 unarmed protesters. The former colonial power France has called for “calm and restraint”, AFP reported.
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