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By Mouctar Bah (AFP) – 6 hours ago
CONAKRY — Rights groups denounced Guinea’s government as police fanned out across the capital following deadly clashes that overshadowed what had been intended as a day of national reconciliation.
Police raided opposition strongholds in the capital Conakry on Wednesday, arresting dozens, witnesses said. The crackdown came a day after clashes between protesters and security forces left two dead and about 40 injured. “Since this morning we have been terrorized here by dozens of policemen who have come into neighbourhoods attacking everyone, hitting the women and the old, and chasing and stopping the youth,” one witness told AFP on condition of anonymity.
On Tuesday two men were killed and more than three dozen wounded when opposition supporters, calling for electoral reform and defying a government ban on rallies, confronted large numbers of police throughout the capital. Police shot one man dead, his family said, and medical officials said another man was stabbed to death.
Prosecutor Mohamed Said Haidara said police and paramilitary forces had arrested 322 people during Tuesday’s unrest including some homicide suspects. He said 23 paramilitary and two police officers had been injured during the unrest, in what Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana called a “day of sorrow”.
Amnesty International, which said three protesters had died, called on Guinea to carry out an immediate investigation. “It’s deeply alarming that President Alpha Conde is resorting to exactly the same brutal methods as his predecessors,” the rights group said in a statement.
The United States called for peaceful demonstrations and urged security forces to refrain from excessive force.State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland warned that “violence undermines rule of law and threatens Guinea’s nascent democracy.” With legislative elections set for December “now is not the time to lose democratic progress that took 50 years to achieve,” she added.
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