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Minsk Accuses West of 'Anti-Belarusian Hysteria'


Belarus' Foreign Ministry says the United States and European Union are on the verge of "anti-Belarusian hysteria" after they condemned the violent break-up of an opposition protest.

The ministry issued a statement Sunday urging the West to stop interfering in Belarusian internal affairs.

Earlier Sunday, the European Union said it is appalled at the violence police used to break up Saturday's opposition protest against President Alexander Lukashenko's re-election.

Police say they reacted when marchers became violent. But the opposition says police moved in when demonstrators began marching to a detention center, where other protesters are being held.

Those detained include opposition presidential candidate Alexander Kozulin. His wife says he is facing a long jail term on charges of hooliganism. The EU is demanding his immediate release.

Mr. Lukashenko won a third term last week with 83 percent of the vote in an election the West condemns as a fraud.

Russian election monitors say the vote was free and fair. The opposition is demanding a new election. The United States and European Union have announced new sanctions against Belarus.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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