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Guinea opposition calls for new protests after six dead

The protests were of limited scope, the government said, a version contested by the opposition, which maintained there had been 'complete paralysis' of the country.

FILE: Protesters clash with anti-riot police in a street in Conakry, Guinea on 13 March 13, 2018 during a demonstration against President Alpha Conde. Picture: AFP

CONAKRY - Guinea's opposition alliance on Tuesday called for a new round of protests against President Alpha Conde, a day after five civilians and a policeman died in clashes.

An alliance of unions, opposition parties and civil society groups called the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) is campaigning for the government to reject constitutional changes that could enable Conde, 81, to seek a third term in office.

The FNDC, on social media, called on the public to continue demonstrating "until the scheme for a third term is completely dropped and the electoral masquerade is stopped."

Relatives and health workers said late Monday that four demonstrators had been killed, a toll which rose to five on Tuesday with the death of a 27-year-old driver from gunshot wounds, according to his father and a doctor who had been treating him.

According to the authorities, two people were killed, one of them a policeman.

The protests were of limited scope, the government said, a version contested by the opposition, which maintained there had been "complete paralysis" of the country.

Conde is a former opposition figure who in 2010 became the poor West African state's first democratically-elected president, but his tenure has been marred by a crackdown on protests.

In September he called on the government to hold "consultations" on possible changes to the constitution - a process that the opposition says is bogus.

He also told the public to prepare for a referendum and elections, stirring speculation that he is planning to scrap the country's two-term presidential limit and take part in elections due by late next year.

On Friday, the 53 opposition members in the 114-seat legislature withdrew from parliament in protest at what they termed moves by the government to "create a new constitution to remain in power."

About 100 people have been killed since Conde came to power in 2010, according to the opposition.

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