Guinea mining town riots leave 10 injured
At least 10 people were injured after riots gripped a bauxite mining hub in Guinea, Africa's biggest producer, after a truck carrying the ore crushed a motorcycle taxi driver to death.
The rioting broke out on Tuesday and went into a second day with barricades being erected, cars and tyres being set alight and several government offices ransacked in Boke, about 300 kilometres north of the capital Conakry.
"We have received 10 injured," a Boke hospital employee said Wednesday.
Hospital sources said they were injured by stones thrown in clashes with the police, by tear gas or after being beaten by truncheons.
Police however cited a lower toll of five people being "slightly injured".
Local resident Abdoulaye Koumbassa said the protesters put up barricades across the town on Wednesday, burned cars and uprooted traffic signals.
A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the protesters were also unhappy about abysmal living conditions in the town, which has frequent power cuts, low supplies of drinking water and is heavily polluted.
Locals said the town was paralyzed with schools, businesses and offices shut down.
Despite its rich mineral reserves, Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world and ranks 145th in the World Bank's league table for gross domestic product.