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At least 21 protesters killed during anti-government protests in Sierra Leone, sources say

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CNN
 — 

Eight cops have been killed throughout violent anti-government protests in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, the nation’s youth minister informed CNN Thursday, whereas hospital sources informed Reuters that a minimum of 21 civilians have been killed in numerous places within the nation.

The officers, six males and two ladies, have been “brutalized” and killed within the space the place the protests held on Wednesday, youth minister Mohamed Orman Bangura stated.

A whole lot of protesters took to the streets of the capital Freetown on Wednesday, protesting inflation and the rising price of dwelling within the West African nation.

The protests grew violent at instances. Graphic pictures and video of battered and critically injured protesters and a few members of safety forces could possibly be seen on social media. Safety forces have been additionally seen firing weapons at residents.

Bangura stated he couldn’t instantly affirm the variety of civilians killed or injured within the violent demonstrations.

“We’re but to know the way many individuals have been injured, however I can affirm that eight cops have been killed.”

In line with Reuters, at least 21 civilians have been killed at completely different places within the nation. It reported that 13 individuals have been shot lifeless in Freetown, and one other eight have been killed in Kamakwie and Makeni cities, citing hospital sources.

Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh imposed a curfew Wednesday to quell the protests.

Youth minister Bangura described the protests as an “act of terrorism.”

“These will not be protesters. There’s a distinction between protest and riot and acts of terrorism. Protesting is completely different from performing as a terrorist…going in opposition to the state, killing younger cops,” he stated.

“The police have made some arrests,” the minister informed CNN whereas accusing the nation’s opposition of financing the protests.

“This was nicely deliberate, calculated and financed by members of the opposition All Folks’s Congress. Members of the opposition paid younger individuals to come back to the road to take over governance,” Bangura, a member of the ruling Sierra Leone Folks’s Celebration stated.

“If the protest is because of the price of dwelling, why is it not occurring in all of the strongholds of the present authorities? Why is it in Makeni that occurs to be the headquarter city of the opposition? Why is it not a nationwide strike? Out of 16 districts, why is it solely in three districts that they (the opposition) assume is their stronghold?” he requested.

CNN has reached out to the opposition celebration APC for remark, however is but to listen to again.

Nevertheless, Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, who is likely one of the main politicians in the primary opposition APC celebration, has denounced the violence.

In an emotional video released Wednesday, Aki Sawyerr pleaded for an finish to the violence and stated: “This isn’t about celebration however about individuals.”

The mayor added that she had been praying for peace and nationwide unity in Sierra Leone alongside the steering committee of spiritual leaders.

“In the present day in our metropolis… my coronary heart goes out to all who misplaced their lives and family members… those who misplaced property proper throughout town. All of us are brothers and sisters… I consider totally in peace and stand in opposition to violence,” she stated, talking within the native creole dialect.