News / Africa

At Least 1 Dead in Senegal Protest Violence

A police officer fires tear gas at close range directly into a group of anti-government protesters sheltering behind a kiosk, on a central boulevard in Dakar, Senegal, February18, 2012.
A police officer fires tear gas at close range directly into a group of anti-government protesters sheltering behind a kiosk, on a central boulevard in Dakar, Senegal, February18, 2012.

At least one person has been killed in Senegal as protesters clash with police over President Abdoulaye Wade's bid for a third term, with one week to go before the vote.

Officials said a young man was killed Sunday in the city of Kaolack, about 180 kilometers southeast of the capital, Dakar. In the capital, protesters barricaded several downtown roads and threw rocks at policemen, who responded with teargas and rubber bullets.

Several injuries were reported.

The opposition, led by the M23 movement, says Mr. Wade is ineligible for re-election due to the constitution's two-term presidential limit. But last month Senegal's highest court ruled the limit does not apply to Mr. Wade since he was already in office when it took effect.

At least six people have died in street clashes since protests began after the court ruling.

Tensions rose further Friday when police fired teargas into a mosque during protests. Demonstrators and religious leaders called it a violation of the religious space and Senegal's interior minister quickly apologized for the incident.

The United States and France have urged Mr. Wade, who is 85, to surrender power to make way for a younger generation.

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

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