At least seven killed in Guinea anti-government protests, organisers say

At least seven killed in Guinea anti-government protests, organisers say
Guineans go about their business on the streets of the capital Conakry, Guinea on 07 September 2021. EPA-EFE/STR

CONAKRY, May 11 (Reuters) - An anti-government movement was planning new protests in Guinean cities on Thursday after its leaders said at least seven people had been killed and 32 injured during demonstrations in the capital Conakry and other towns a day earlier.

Police in riot gear cracked down on demonstrators who threw rocks and burnt tyres on Wednesday, the latest in a series of protests against the military government that seized power in 2021 and has been slow to hand power back to civilians.

Small-scale protests also took place in Nzerekore, a town in the southeast, and in the central town of Dabola.

Opposition parties and civil society groups said in a joint statement late on Wednesday that at least seven people had been shot dead and 32 others had suffered gunshot wounds.

They added that 56 arrests had been reported and said a second day of peaceful demonstrations would go ahead as planned on Thursday.

The government has not responded to the allegations. The police did not respond to a request for comment.

There have been several protests in Guinea since the junta took power, some of which have turned deadly following clashes with heavy-handed security forces.

The country’s military government is one of several in West Africa that took power in a string of coups since 2020 and are now dragging their feet on election promises.

Authorities in Guinea proposed a two-year transition to democracy last October, down from a three-year timeline earlier rejected by the regional political and economic bloc ECOWAS.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Gareth Jones)


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