Fatal clashes in Guinea cast cloud over election preparations

Fatal clashes in Guinea cast cloud over election preparations
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At least five people were reported killed on Saturday when security forces in Guinea opened fire on protesters in the capital Conakry.

The demonstrations in opposition strongholds began over a dispute about election preparations.

The head of a human rights group in the West African country, the OGDH, said those who died had been shot. A doctor said many were wounded including two girls aged eight and six.

The government under President Condé confirmed that 11 people had died since Thursday.

Parliamentary elections are planned to complete a transition to civilian rule after a military coup five years ago.

The opposition accuses the government of trying to rig next month’s vote.

Reports say such protests often begin as political but degenerate into looting and clashes between ethnic groups.

Guinea is a leading bauxite exporter but foreign investment has slowed amid the political uncertainty. Earlier this year the Crisis Group, a leading European think-tank, said Guinea risked becoming West Africa’s next “failed state”.

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