CONAKRY (Reuters) - The official death toll from Thursday’s clashes between Guinean opposition protesters and police and government supporters rose to four on Friday, meaning at least 22 people have now been killed in unrest since March.
The opposition, which held a rally against plans for a June election that it fears will be rigged, said three protesters were shot dead and a fourth beaten to death at the march.
The government, which had earlier said that only one person was killed on Thursday, has denied accusations that opposition leaders were targeted by security forces and said the victims had been attacked by people on their own side.
“There were four deaths, two of them from gunshots and one was stabbed. The fourth died following a road accident,” government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara said.
Thirty-five people were injured during Thursday’s violence and some 300 have been hurt since the unrest began in March.
The opposition says it was not consulted before the elections commission announced June 30 as the date for the legislative election and says voter lists are being revised in favor of President Alpha Conde’s allies.
They are calling for the company contracted by the government to revise the lists, South African firm Waymark, to be replaced and are demanding that Guineans abroad be allowed to vote.
Despite vast deposits of gold, iron ore and diamonds, global miners Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Brazil’s Vale have slowed billions of dollars of investments in the west African nation, citing political uncertainty as one of the reasons.
Reporting Saliou Samb; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Robin Pomeroy