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At Least 58 Killed in Guinea Opposition Protest

At Least 58 Killed in Guinea Opposition Protest
At Least 58 Killed in Guinea Opposition Protest
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Witnesses and medical officials say at least 58 people have been killed in Guinea in clashes between security forces and opposition activists who defied a government ban on protests.

The clashes took place Monday in the capital, Conakry.  

Witnesses say Guinea's security forces opened fire on demonstrators who had gathered in a large stadium to protest against the possible presidential candidacy of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the country's military leader.

They also say police charged protesters with batons and detained several opposition leaders.

On Sunday, Captain Camara's government said all protests would be prohibited until national independence celebrations are held on October 2.

However, opposition activists decided to proceed with the demonstration they had planned for Monday.

Some carried signs that read "No to Dadis." Others set furniture on fire as they marched from the outskirts of the capital into the city.

Captain Camara took power in a coup last December following the death of Guinea's longtime President Lansana Conte.  

When he took power, Captain Camara said no one in his ruling council would run for public office. However, the council has since said its members are eligible to be candidates. And Captain Camara has suggested he may run for president in elections scheduled for next year.

The African Union says it may impose sanctions on Guinea if Captain Camara decides to run for president.  

The AU says it is concerned about what it calls a "deteriorating situation" in the country and the consequences of not returning to constitutional order.

Opponents have also accused Mr. Camara and his ruling council of human rights abuses and limiting freedom of speech.

Supporters of Guinea's military council are calling the threatened sanctions unfair.


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

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