* Govt says two killed, 30 injured in Conakry protest
* Residents angered over frequent power cuts
* Offices of Brazilian firm attacked
(Adds death toll, number of injured)
CONAKRY, Feb 18 At least two people were killed
and 30 others injured in Guinea's capital Conakry on Tuesday
when protests against frequent power cuts turned violent and the
offices of a Brazilian construction firm were attacked.
The protests reflect Guineans' growing frustration with
their government over the lack of development in their West
African state, which despite its wealth in minerals remains
mired in poverty after decades of misrule.
Guinea government spokesman Damatang Albert Camara, told
Reuters two people including a gendarme officer were killed, but
did not give details. He added that Guinea's prime minister will
address the nation later on Tuesday.
Legislative elections late last year completed a transition
back to civilian rule after a 2008 military coup. President
Alpha Conde is under intense pressure to deliver concrete change
ahead of the next presidential vote in 2015.
The population lacks even the most basic social services and
the country's infrastructure is in urgent need of improvement.
Security forces around the Lansanayah neighbourhood fired
tear gas and beat protesters with batons, according to
residents, some of whom said they heard gunfire.
"A youth died after being hit by a vehicle (belonging to the
security forces). I saw the body," resident Aissatou Diallo told
Some in the crowds attacked the local offices of Brazilian
firm OAS, a privately-owned engineering and infrastructure
development company which is involved in a number of public
works projects. It was not clear why the company was targeted.
There was nobody available for comment at OAS in Conakry but
a foreign diplomat, who declined to be identified, said one of
the firm's local employees was injured.
The power cuts in a number of Conakry neighbourhoods in
recent weeks have angered residents.
The government's plan to improve electricity production has
been undermined by trouble connecting an extra 100 megawatts of
capacity recently installed at a plant in Tombo to the Guinean
As a result, the government has had to hire an additional 50
MW of power supply from British firm Aggreko at a cost
of $10 million every six months.
Guinea is the world's top bauxite exporter and is home to
some of the world's largest untapped iron ore reserves.
(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by David Lewis and Bate
Felix; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and David Evans)