Senegal police break up opposition rally

2012-02-01 16:46
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Senegal election violence

Hundreds of people gathered in Dakar to protest a court ruling, allowing 85-year-old president Abdoulaye Wade to run for another term. Police opened fire with tear gas on demonstrators, leaving one person dead.

Dakar - Rights group in Senegal including the local branch of Amnesty International on Wednesday condemned police violence during an opposition rally in which one person was killed.

Officers used tear gas and water cannon to break up the protest in the capital Dakar on Tuesday night, which thousands of people attended.

Amnesty and the Senegalese Human Rights League and African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights said in a statement they "vigorously condemn deliberate violence perpetrated by police against peaceful, unarmed protesters".

The joint statement, drawing on witness accounts, said live bullets had been fired into the crowd. They also accused police of having "fired tear gas at medical vehicles".

Many people had been injured and one man was killed when a police truck drove into the crowd. Police have denied it was their vehicle which killed a 32-year-old man.

The two rights groups called for an independent inquiry the night's unrest.

Thousands of people were protesting plans by President Abdoulaye Wade, 85, to seek a third term in office in February 26 polls in what the opposition has branded a "constitutional coup d'etat".

Read more on:    abdoulaye wade  |  senegal  |  senegal protests  |  west africa
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