Schoolboy shot dead by police at Sierra Leone protest

2016-08-17 06:30

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Freetown - A secondary school student and a street seller were shot dead by security forces in northern Sierra Leone on Tuesday during a demonstration by youth angered by the relocation of a job training centre.

Police in Kabala, Koinadugu district, said youth activists set fire to homes, burning two to the ground, while the protesters spoke of a peaceful rally, attended by dozens, that was fatally halted by bullets fired into the crowd.

Nurses treating the wounded at a nearby hospital confirmed they had seen two dead bodies and were treating at least 15 injured people.

The victims, whose identities have not been disclosed, were shot in the head and the back, according to protesters and a resident. Images circulated from the protest showed a barely pubescent boy lying in a pool of blood.

Others survived, but also suffered gunshot wounds, according to the protesters.

Mohamed Marrah, leader of Koinadugu District Youth Council, said the protest was non-violent and related to the transfer of a training facility designed to improve job prospects in this poor rural community.

"They were unarmed and singing songs to get the authorities to reconsider the action. Suddenly, we heard shots and two people in the crowd just went limp," he said.

"We protested for our rights, but the police violently reacted by firing tear gas canisters and live bullets into the crowed which killed two of our people and left many others seriously injured," he added.

A police officer reached by AFP said anti-government demonstrators had attacked and burnt down the office of the ruling All Peoples Congress and his own residence.

Local Unit Commander Superintendent Alimammy Bangura said he had been "reduced to a pauper" with his home razed to the ground.

Police said an investigation had been opened and appealed for calm, announcing a curfew.

Military reinforcements were sent from the regional capital, Makeni, and were guarding key institutions and facilities by nightfall.

Around 70% of Sierra Leone's young people are unemployed or underemployed, according to UN figures.

Read more on:    sierra leone

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.