CONAKRY (Reuters) - A journalist was shot and killed in Guinea on Friday during clashes between rival factions of the West African nation’s main opposition party, witnesses and the government said.
El Hadj Mohamed Diallo was killed at the headquarters of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) in the capital Conakry.
“He was shot at point-blank range. I’m here next to the body at the morgue right now,” said Ibrahima Sory Traoré, publishing director of Guinee7.com for which Diallo worked.
Violence broke out when Mamadou Oury Bah, a founding member of the UFDG who was excluded from the party earlier in the day, attempted to enter the party headquarters accompanied by his supporters to participate in a leadership meeting.
It was not immediately clear who killed Diallo, though some witnesses said the shot was fired by a UFDG member involved in the clashes.
In a statement later, the government of Africa’s largest bauxite producer confirmed it was opening an investigation for voluntary homicide.
Bah, commonly know as Bah Oury, spent four years in exile in France, during which time he was convicted in absentia for a 2011 assassination attempt against President Alpha Conde. Conde pardoned him recently and the UFDG vice president returned to Guinea last month.
Since his arrival, he has been a vocal critic of the UFDG’s management under party leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, who finished second to Conde in the last two presidential elections in 2010 and 2015.
Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by James Dalgleish