Conakry (AFP) – Police in Guinea shot dead a teenager during a violent protest over an alleged attempt to kidnap a radio journalist on Sunday, his family said.
Abdoul Aziz Balde, 15, was “mortally wounded by a bullet fired by a police officer” as security forces and protesters clashed in the capital Conakry, a family member said.
“The policeman aimed at him before shooting him with live ammunition and a bullet hit him in his behind,” the relative said on condition of anonymity, adding that Balde began to bleed profusely and was declared dead after being rushed to hospital in a coma.
The demonstration erupted after private broadcaster Planet FM reported that armed men had come to the radio station looking to kidnap director and journalist Mandian Sidibe, witnesses said.
A mob of listeners then launched a search for the armed men, which turned into a protest as demonstrators put up barricades in several neighbourhoods of Conakry.
Police tried to disperse protesters with tear gas but the crowd responded by throwing stones and other projectiles that wounded three policeman.
Police then fired live ammunition, hitting at least two protesters, who were admitted to a clinic in southern Conakry with gunshot wounds, according to a doctor.
Other medical and security sources said at least 11 people were wounded in total, five by live ammunition.
A journalist at Planet FM confirmed that armed men had visited the station looking for Sidibe.
“Armed men in plain clothes arrived at the station and asked to meet the director and journalist Mandian Sidibe,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity, saying the men had come to kidnap Sidibe but were not allowed access to him.
Protests are common and often violent in Conakry, which remains tense following a Supreme Court decision on Friday to hand the west African nation’s widely contested September election to the ruling party.