Guinea protests leave at least two killed, many wounded, opposition says

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CONAKRY, Feb 16 (Reuters) – At least two people were shot dead and scores wounded or detained at an anti-government protest in Guinea’s capital Conakry that started late on Wednesday and continued into Thursday, an opposition coalition said.

It is the latest deadly protest to rock the capital since the government was overthrown in 2021 and replaced with military leaders who have dragged their feet on promises to hand power back to civilians. The protest had ended by Thursday evening.

This time demonstrators erected road blocks in several locations in Conakry and threw stones at security vehicles, Chief of Police Abdoulaye Sampil said in a statement that made no mention of civilian casualties.

He said seven members of the security forces were wounded. A senior police official later said one protester was wounded.

But the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of politicians and activists, said two people, aged 16 and 19, had died from bullet wounds during the protests. A further 58 were wounded, it said in a statement late on Thursday.

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The police said seven arrests were made, whereas the FNDC said 47 people had been detained. Reuters could not independently verify the figures.

Last October, Guinea’s military government proposed a shorter 24-month timeline for a transition to elections, down from a 36-month timeline earlier rejected by the regional political and economic bloc, the Economic Community of West African States.

Following criticism of the 36-month timeline, the junta banned all public demonstrations.

The FNDC last year reported the deaths of several protesters from gunshot wounds at anti-government demonstrations in June, July, August and October.

Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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