Reports from Sierra Leone say clashes between police and protesters have killed 13 people, with more than 100 others arrested during a curfew. A police spokesperson said Friday that normalcy is returning.
An interim report released by Sierra Leone’s police Thursday shows that 113 people were arrested in protests that began Monday. A majority were arrested in the northeast region of Makeni.
Police say public and private property has been vandalized in the protests and three police stations were burned.
No new protests were reported Friday and Sierra Leone's assistant police commissioner, Brima Kamara, told VOA in a telephone interview that normalcy was beginning to return.
“All the banks are open, offices are open, both government and offices and private offices, save for some few shops,” said Kamara.
Demonstrators took to the streets this week to express anger over the soaring cost of living in Sierra Leone, which has nearly doubled in months.
A 2020 World Bank report says 80 percent of Sierra Leone’s population is poor, the majority living in rural areas.
The Reuters news agency, citing a source in Freetown’s city mortuary, said 13 people were killed in clashes between police and protesters.
In a Twitter post, Sierra Leone's president, Julias Maada Bio, termed the protests unfortunate and said the state would investigate their cause.