Tensions high in Malawi after disrupted funeral for protesters

Tensions remained high in the Malawian town of Mzuzu on Friday after civic organisations were prevented...

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Tensions remained high in the Malawian town of Mzuzu on Friday after civic organisations were prevented from burying nine protesters killed in anti-government protests.

Government officials said 13 people were killed in demonstrations when crowds took to the streets in protest against government policies and President Bingu wa Mutharika's increasingly authoritarian rule.

Tensions reached fever pitch on Friday morning when Mutharika said a mass church service for those killed would not go ahead.

The council then refused to let the protesters get buried, arguing that they were looters.

Messages of condolences on state television said the families of those killed would be supported. It added that the loss of life could have been avoided if the demonstration organisers listened to the president's call for dialogue.