CONAKRY (Reuters) - At least three people were killed and 50 wounded during two days of violent protests this week in Guinea’s capital Conakry, opposition parties said on Wednesday, blaming police “repression” for the deaths.
However, the government denied security forces had shot at the protesters during the demonstrations, which were called by the opposition parties to pressure authorities to hold local elections before a planned presidential vote, as laid out in a 2013 agreement between Guinea’s rival political factions.
The protests turned violent on Monday, with at least six people hit by bullets, and the opposition suspended the demonstrations on Tuesday until next week. Conakry was calm on Wednesday.
“This particularly heavy toll is due to the violent repression of the protest by the police and gendarmes who are carrying out policing duties with weapons of war,” the opposition parties said in a statement.
They said 12 of the dozens injured in the protests were shot by the police.
Guinea’s government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara denied the opposition parties’ accusations.
“Strict orders were given to the military to stay in their barracks. The police and the gendarmes responsible for law enforcement operations have only conventional equipment to contain crowd movements,” he said.
Prolonged political instability has hampered Guinea’s ability to develop its rich mineral deposits, which include bauxite and iron ore.
Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Gareth Jones