170 held in Guinea vote violence

2010-10-21 07:36

Conakry - More than 170 people were arrested in political violence in the Guinean capital this week and remain in detention ahead of a presidential run-off vote, police said on Wednesday.

Around 120 people are being held in a facility operated by riot police, and the others are being held in two police stations in the suburbs of Conakry, said the senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The arrests were made on Monday and Tuesday following clashes between supporters of presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo and security forces, during which two people were killed and about 40 injured.

The vote is scheduled for Sunday but French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Wednesday told AFP that the vote may be pushed back by a week.

It pits Diallo, a former prime minister who took 43% of the votes in the first round on June 27, against veteran opposition figure Alpha Conde who won 18%.

The head of Guinea's national human rights commission, Aliou Barry, said on Wednesday that the deaths were accidental.

Barry had said on Tuesday that the deaths were caused by police firing live rounds directly at protestors.

Seventeen people are still being treated at Conakry's main hospital, a doctor told said.