* Curfew declared in northern region
* Winner Conde reaches out, Diallo calls for calm
* Overnight celebrations, gunfire in parts of capital
(Releads with curfew in Diallo stronghold, reports of attacks)
By Saliou Samb
CONAKRY, Nov 16 Sporadic violence hit Guinea's
capital and several regions on Tuesday after opposition leader
Alpha Conde was declared winner in a hotly contested
presidential poll aimed at restoring civilian rule.
Authorities in the West African country called on security
forces to refrain from using firearms after an unconfirmed
report of one death and dozens wounded in their clashes with
rock-throwing youths in the outskirts of Conakry.
Armed men held up buses in the northern Labe region, a
stronghold of ex-premier and poll loser Cellou Dalein Diallo,
robbing and sometimes beating up passengers, caretaker prime
minister Jean-Marie Dore said.
"That is why I have asked the governor of Labe region to
enforce a curfew until order returns," he told state television,
adding that he had also replaced the civilian prefect of the
nearby town of Pita with a gendarme after reports of unrest.
After a tense wait for election results, Guinea's election
commission late on Monday named veteran opposition leader Conde
winner of the Nov. 7 election with 52.5 percent of the vote in
the world's top bauxite exporter.
The poll was Guinea's first free vote since independence
from France in 1958 and is meant to draw a line under almost two
years of military rule. It is also hoped to provide legal
certainty for billions of dollars of recent investment by mining
firms in Guinea's bauxite and iron ore riches.
All-night celebrations by Conde supporters were tainted by
bursts of gunfire in the streets of the capital before a return
to calm allowed Conde to do a victory tour of the town centre.
But residents in Diallo's strongholds in the outskirts of
Conakry reported security forces shooting to keep people indoors
while youths threw rocks at them. One human rights group accused
security forces with a record of poor discipline of using
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In his first statement after the result, Conde said he
wanted to be a president of reconciliation and hinted at some
role for Diallo in a future government, though gave no details.
"Time has come to reach out in a spirit of brotherhood to
tackle together and immediately, the numerous challenges the
country faces," Conde said on French radio RFI.
"That will only be possible in a calm atmosphere and with
the cooperation of all Guineans," he said of an accord between
Diallo and Conde before the election to include whoever lost in
any future government.
Diallo also urged his supporters to remain calm even as he
mounts a legal challenge to the results in the Supreme Court,
citing evidence of electoral fraud. The Supreme Court has eight
days to make its ruling.
"The leaders must do everything possible to maintain an
atmosphere of calm," Said Djinnit, the United Nations's top
official in West Africa, told Reuters.
"I see defence forces doing their utmost to exercise
restraint, but they don't always succeed," Djinnit added.
Residents in Cosa, Bambeto and Simbaya -- Diallo strongholds
on the outskirts of Conakry -- said there had been bursts of
gunfire overnight and into Tuesday morning as residents woke to
try and celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.
"The (presidential guard) is forcing us to stay inside.
There is lots of shooting and the youth are fighting back by
throwing stones," said Souleymane Bah, a Bambeto resident.
Calm was restored later but several dozen people had been
wounded and at least one person died during a security crackdown
that began on Monday, according to Human Rights Watch.
"In the face of such high levels of communal tensions, the
security forces need to act assertively, yet, use all means
necessary before resorting to force, especially lethal force,"
said Corinne Dufka, the group's senior West Africa researcher.
"Chasing people inside their homes, beating them severely,
and shooting them unnecessarily crosses this line," she added.
(Additional reporting by Richard Valdmanis and David Lewis;
Writing by Mark John; Editing by Charles Dick)