One killed as Guinea power protests turn bloody: officials

CONAKRY — At least one person was killed and some 30 were injured as Guinean soldiers fired on a crowd protesting electricity cuts in the port city of Kamsar north of the capital Conakry, residents and officials said Tuesday.

An official from the Guinean Bauxite Company (CBG), which provides electricity to the town, said violence had erupted “leaving at least one dead from a bullet wound” after soldiers fired on the protesters.

The CBG is Guinea’s largest mining company and the world’s biggest bauxite exporter.

Amara Bangoura, a resident of the town located some 300 kilometres (185 miles) north of Conakry, said local authorities had called in the army to “bring the protesters under control.”

“At least 33 youths and security forces were injured,” said another resident, Seydouba Bangoura.

He said hundreds of people, mostly students, has poured into the streets in a spontaneous downtown protest to “show their frustration … throwing stones at official vehicles and public buildings.”

The police station and paramilitary headquarters in the town were vandalised and vehicles were set on fire, a police officer said.

Water and electricity cuts are frequent in Guinea, where an overwhelming majority of the population lives in poverty despite the country’s rich mineral resources of bauxite, iron and gold.
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