3 army recruits killed in protest against non-payment in Guinea: witness

A group of new army recruits in a southeastern town in Guinea staged a protest against non-payment and confronted with some soldiers, leaving three people dead, a witness reported on Wednesday.

The clash occurred on Tuesday in Kissidougou, 600 km from the capital Conakry.

The new recruits were heading for the center of the town when they were blocked by other soldiers who opened fire in the confrontation.

Two recruits died on the scene and another one died on the way to hospital. The rest of the angry recruits have all left their barracks and gone into hiding for fear of been arrested.

One of the recruits told Xinhua from his hiding place on Wednesday morning that they had wanted a peaceful march to attract the attention of the authorities to their plights, when all of a sudden, a band of soldiers appeared and started shooting at them indiscriminately.

He said most of his colleagues have been arrested, some being beaten before taken away.

Up to 5,600 young boys recruited by the military regime in 2009 were divided in the towns of Faranah and Kankan.

According to other sources from Kissidougou, the town is under watertight security with the regular army continuing search for the fugitives.

The government is yet to issue a statement on the incident.

Guinea suffered a military coup in December 2008. The country held the presidential election on Nov. 7 to end the crisis. Alpha Conde the winner of the election was sworn in as president on Dec. 22.

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