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Belarus opposition candidate Tikhanouskaya was forced to leave, her campaign says

MINSK (Reuters) - Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanouskaya’s campaign team said on Tuesday that she had been forced to leave the country by the authorities amid bloody protests against the contested re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

“She was taken out of the country by the authorities. Svetlana had no choice. Five minutes before the visit, we discussed our future plans and she was certainly not intending to leave the country,” Olga Kovalkova told Reuters.

Tikhanouskaya’s campaign team had been unable to reach her for hours on Monday, the day after the election, but by Tuesday morning she had joined her children in neighbouring Lithuania. The state border committee later confirmed her departure.

Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky and Maxim Rodionov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Kevin Liffey