At least two people were wounded by gunfire on Monday during opposition protests against the government’s electoral timetable and insecurity in Guinea’s capital Conakry, the government said in a statement.
Opposition supporters began barricading streets and burning tyres early in the morning in Conakry’s Yimbaya, Hamdallaye and Wanindara neighbourhoods, considered opposition strongholds, and several witnesses reported hearing gunfire.
“There’s shooting here. We are barricaded inside our houses,” one of the witnesses said, asking not to be named.
Two people were admitted to Conakry’s Donka hospital with gunshot wounds, the government statement said, though the origin of the gunfire was unclear.
Another three people were rumoured to have been injured by gunfire in the Hamdallaye neighbourhood, the statement said, adding that gendarmes came under fire in the same area.
The government said a police vehicle had been attacked and damaged by protesters and one member of the security forces was injured by stone-throwing demonstrators.
Guinea’s electoral commission announced last month that a presidential election will be held on Oct. 11, but the opposition has denounced the date claiming it breaks an agreement to hold local council elections first.
Presidential and legislative elections since 2010, when Guinea emerged from decades of autocratic military rule, have been marred by months of violent protests, with opposition and ruling parties divided along ethnic lines.
The opposition announced Monday’s protests last week after unidentified gunmen attacked the vehicle of Aboubacar Sylla, an opposition spokesman, in what they said was a targeted assassination attempt.