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Police Detain Belarusian Opposition Leader in Minsk


Police in Belarus have detained the leader of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front.

Opposition activists say plainclothes officers picked up Vintsuk Vyachorka Tuesday evening outside his apartment in Minsk.

Another opposition activist, Vyachaslau Siuchyk, was also reported arrested at a separate location in the capital.

Vyachorka's son, Franak, told the Belapan news agency his father's detention appears linked to an opposition demonstration planned in Minsk for March 25.

He said the action may also signal the start of a government crackdown similar to the one that took place during last year's presidential race. He said police have been watching the offices of the Popular Front around the clock.

The Belarus opposition, backed by the United States and the European Union, accuses the government of President Alexander Lukashenko of closing down independent newspapers and rigging his re-election last year. The White House has called him "Europe's last dictator."

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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