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Three Killed in Togo Protests

  • Joe Bavier

A human rights group says anti-government protesters have been killed in a renewed crackdown on demonstrations in Togo. The violence comes as West African heads of state are in the capital Lome to discuss upcoming elections following the resignation of the military installed president.

The human rights group, Amnesty International, told VOA that three bodies recovered from a lagoon in Lome Monday were those of protesters involved in anti-government demonstrations.

The group also says patrols of government security forces have been entering homes and beating residents in Be, a district considered a stronghold of the opposition.

Amnesty did not confirm, however, other reports from Lome that as many as ten people have been killed during two days of protests. Police have been accused of using live ammunition in clashes with protesters.

At least three people had already been killed in several weeks of demonstrations against the military appointment to the presidency of Faure Gnassingbe, the son of the late long time ruler Gnassingbe Eyadema, who died earlier this month. Mr. Gnassingbe stepped down Friday, ceding the presidency to interim president Abbas Bonfoh.

A delegation, which includes two West African heads of state representing the regional bloc ECOWAS, has been meeting with members of the government and political parties in Lome to discuss the organization of new presidential elections, expected in the coming weeks.