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Four People Killed Under Guinea's Martial Law


Four people have died in Guinea, as the West African nation endures a second day of martial law imposed to break up anti-government protests.

The four were killed overnight in suburban Conakry, as security forces enforce a total crackdown on protests against President Lansana Conte.

Citizens are banned from leaving their homes most of the day since Mr. Conte declared a state of emergency Monday.

The top U.N. official for human rights, Louise Arbour, said there are serious allegations that Guinea's security forces are breaching international standards on the use of force.

More than 100 people have been killed in clashes between police and protesters since the start of this year.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he deplores the loss of life, and he expressed grave concern about the worsening political situation in Guinea.

The demonstrations follow a general strike called by labor unions to protest Mr. Conte's rule. Labor unions went on strike last month to protest widespread poverty under Mr. Conte, who has been in power since a coup 23 years ago.

The unions suspended their strike earlier this month, but resumed it again Saturday after the president chose a close ally, Eugene Camara, as prime minister. Opposition parties wanted an independent politician to fill that post.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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