Military violence in Guinea leaves dozens dead

CONAKRY - The death toll from a crackdown by Guinean security forces on opponents of the military junta has risen to 157, a local rights group said yesterday.

Security forces on Monday opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters urging military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara to step down, bringing broad international condemnation and the threat of sanctions from the African Union.

"According to hospital sources, 157 dead and 1253 injured have been registered," Guinean Human Rights Organisation president Thierno Maadjou Sow said yesterday.

Sow said the figure did not include the bodies of those demonstrators killed at a stadium on Monday.

The clashes in the world's top bauxite exporting country were the worst since Camara seized power in a coup last year and followed months of wrangling between Camara and opponents who insist he should not stand in a January presidential poll.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former colonial power France condemned the killings, which eyewitnesses said were unprovoked and indiscriminate as soldiers shot and bayoneted people. - Reuters