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At least 14 injured in Guinea political clashes

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

CONAKRY, July 28 (Reuters) At least 14 people were injured in Guinea when supporters of regional prefect Mouctar Brada Drame clashed with demonstrators demanding he obey a government order to step down, police sources said today.

The groups armed with batons, knives and stones fought yesterday in the eastern town of Dubreka, some 50 km from the capital Conakry and a stronghold of support for veteran President Lansana Conte.

''People fought yesterday in Dubreka because of the departing prefect who refuses to go. There were between 14 and 16 injured,'' said one police source, who asked not to be identified.

Drame is the only one of Guinea's 33 prefects who has ignored orders to step aside from a consensus government which took office in March tasked with overhauling the West African country's corrupt and authoritarian administration.

Conte, who comes from the Dubreka region, has named Drame's replacement by decree but the prefect said he has verbal instructions from the president to remain in office.

Opposition unions led a wave of strikes against Conte's 23-year rule in January and February in which 137 people were killed, mainly by security forces. Dubreka was one of only three prefectures which did not see violence.

Guinea is among the world's poorest countries despite containing almost one third of the world's deposits of bauxite, the raw material for aluminium.

REUTERS JT BD2053

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