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Calm in Guinea After Protests Leave One Person Dead


Officials in the west African nation of Guinea say all is calm Saturday following anti-government street protests that left one man dead in the capital, Conakry on Friday.

Hospital officials say the victim was killed after he was struck in the head by a rock as he stepped out of a taxi in the Hamdallaye neighborhood of Conakry.

Friday's protests were a reaction to the firing of Communications Minister Justin Morel Junior. Youths in suburbs of Conakry burned tires, built barricades and threw stones.

Union leaders have called for a strike to begin January 10 to protest the communication minister's dismissal.

The unrest is the latest incident in an ongoing power struggle between President Lansana Conte and Prime Minister Lansana Kouyate. The fired communications minister was a close ally of Mr. Kouyate.

Last month, the president gave more control of the government to one of his closest allies, diminishing the prime minister's power.

The president appointed Mr. Kouyate in response to violent, union-led protests last year demanding that the president reduce his control of the government.

The aging, diabetic President Conte has been in power since a 1984 coup. He was re-elected in successive elections that both the opposition and international observers have deemed fraudulent.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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