London, Sep 30 (ANI): Drunken soldiers in the West African state of Guinea raped women and killed more than 150 people in order to break a huge popular demonstration of opposition parties against the military dictator Captain Moussa Dadis Camara.
Some 50,000 demonstrators gathered in the national sports stadium in Conakry on Monday to protest after reports that Captain Camara and his junta had reneged on a deal to stand down from power and hold free elections in the former French colony.
Soldiers sent to police the rally opened fire on demonstrators with live ammunition and tear-gas canisters, Scotsman quoted human rights workers, as saying.
Witnesses quoted by Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that troops began bayoneting fleeing protesters, while others stripped women and raped them in the streets of the capital.
Guinean human rights activist Souleymane Bah said: "Soldiers were firing at people, and those who tried to get out were caught and finished off with bayonets."
"They didn't even ask us to disperse. They just started shooting," said protester Bambaya Bari.
The bodies of 157 people killed in the assault were counted in city mortuaries, while at least 1,253 wounded were admitted to hospitals for treatment.
Dr Chierno Maadjou, of the Guinean Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights, said that in addition, an unknown number of dead had been left in the stadium and taken by soldiers to the Alpha Yaya Diallo military base.
France, the African Union, the European Union and human rights organisations around the world, immediately condemned the massacre by the military.
Captain Camara, who seized power in a coup last December, washed his hands of the slaughter, telling Radio France International that the violence was beyond his control. (ANI)