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Belarusian opposition leader says ally's abduction is attempt to derail opposition council

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Monday that the reported abduction of protest leader Maria Kolesnikova looked like an attempt by authorities to derail the opposition’s Coordination Council and intimidate its members.

Unidentified people detained Kolesnikova in central Minsk and drove her off in a minivan, the Belarusian Tut.By media outlet reported.

Her abduction, if confirmed, comes as Belarusian authorities appear to be stepping up their efforts to try to break protesters’ momentum.

Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Mark Trevelyan

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