Nine protesters were killed this week in Guinea during demonstrations against a possible change to the constitution that could let President Alpha Conde seek a third term, the government said on Wednesday.
Police opened fire on demonstrators as they ransacked military posts and blocked roads with burning tyres in the capital Conakry, while protests in the northern opposition stronghold of Mamou also turned violent, witnesses said.
Protests have continued since then with decreasing intensity but they point to the kind of upheaval Conde faces if he tries to extend his rule beyond his legally-alloted two terms.
“The government deeply regrets, and also strongly condemns, the incidents…and has instructed the relevant authorities to shed light on the facts in order to pull together all the evidence,” General Bourema Conde, the minister of territorial administration said in a statement.
A coalition of opposition groups said on Wednesday that the police had killed 10 people since Monday. It provided a list of the dead, all males under the age of 30 and including a 14-year-old schoolboy called Boubacar Diallo.
The coalition said in a statement that a further 70 protesters had been wounded by bullets and 200 people had been arrested. Police raided homes and assaulted family members of the dead, it said.
The government did not respond to these allegations.