Guinea protesters clash with security forces ahead of talks

Reuters News
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Posted: May 07, 2015 10:56 AM

CONAKRY (Reuters) - Youths in Guinea's capital blocked roads with burning tires and clashed with security forces on Thursday, raising pressure on President Alpha Conde ahead of talks with the opposition aimed at resolving a dispute over the timing of elections.

Witnesses said police fired tear gas in the Bambeto and Cosa neighborhoods to disperse demonstrators staging the latest in a string of protests in the capital and other towns that began in April and have left at least five dead.

There was no word on casualties or arrests on Thursday.

The talks on Friday are between Conde and opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, who says an announcement in March that Guinea's presidential election will be held on Oct. 11 broke a 2013 agreement to stage long-delayed local elections first.

"We have continued our demonstrations today but if something concrete comes out of the meeting on Friday, we will reconsider our position," Diallo told reporters. There was no immediate comment from the government.

Analysts say that holding local elections first would give Conde's rivals more influence in organizing the presidential election.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg/Mark Heinrich)