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04.11.2019 Africa

Guinea police fire on protesters, at least 2 wounded: witness, doctor

A massive demonstration took place on October 24.  By CELLOU BINANI (AFP/File)
NOV 4, 2019 AFRICA
A massive demonstration took place on October 24. By CELLOU BINANI (AFP/File)

Guinean police fired live rounds at protesters on Monday, wounding at least two during a funeral march for victims of violence in recent demonstrations, an AFP correspondent and doctors said.

Violence erupted after hundreds marched in the capital Conakry to accompany coffins of people killed in more than a week of demonstrations over suspicions that President Alpha Conde is seeking to prolong his rule in the poor West African country.

The AFP correspondent saw two people with bullet wounds and a doctor at the scene told AFP that two more people had been taken to hospital.

"We have seven wounded, including four hit by bullets in the upper body," said Dr Seny Fofana, a medic in a nearby clinic.

Conde, whose second term ends next year, launched constitutional consultations in September, saying the former French colony's basic law "concentrates corporate interests" and needed reforms.

But his adversaries say the president will try to push through an amendment allowing him to seek a third term in the nation of 13 million.

At Monday's march, protesters chanted "Justice for the dead" and "Alpha, killer", bearing aloft the coffins of 11 of those killed since October 24.

The government says at least eight protesters and a police officer have been killed since October 14, when opposition parties, unions and civil society groups mobilised against a possible third term for Conde.

The opposition says a total of 14 demonstrators have been killed since then.

On Monday, clashes with police broke out between the hospital where victims' families and opposition activists retrieved the coffins and a mosque where pre-burial prayers were planned.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets on October 24, according to local journalists, while organisers put the turnout at around a million, and the government said the protesters numbered 30,000.