Election campaign suspended after violence

Presidential campaigns in Guinea were suspended after violence between rival campaign supporters left one person dead, a government official said.

Telecommunications Minister Talide Diallo also said that 54 people were wounded when rival political parties clashed after a campaign event in the capital, Conakry.

That figure more than doubles previous estimates of 24 wounded people.

He said rallies and campaigning were suspended but that elections in the tiny West African nation will be held as scheduled on September 19.

The violence and its aftermath are signs of escalating tension ahead of next week’s historic election, which many hoped would mark a turning point for the troubled country that has known only authoritarian rule since winning independence from France in 1958.

Guineenews.org, a popular news portal, reported that clashes erupted in several parts of the capital.

It reported clashes near opposition leader Alpha Conde’s home in the neighbourhood of Mafanco, as well as near the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) headquarters in Hamdallaye and in the ’quartier populaire’ of Dixinn.

Each party blamed the other for starting the battles.

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