Swaziland police fire rubber bullets to stop march

AP News
Posted: Jul 11, 2012 12:21 PM
Swaziland police fire rubber bullets to stop march

MBABANE, Swaziland (AP) — Police in Swaziland fired rubber bullets and tear gas to stop a protest by thousands of government workers demanding higher wages.

An Associated Press reporter saw people bleeding after being hit at close range by what appeared to be rubber bullets. Police, who say the marchers did not have a permit for their protest, also beat protesters to keep them from leaving a central park in the capital, Mbabane.

Protesters fled wildly. An unknown number of wounded were seen being taken a nearby hospital.

Civil servants are demanding 4.5 percent raises from a government that has been in economic crisis for more than a year because of falling customs revenues. Opponents and even some in government also cite corruption and mismanagement in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy.