50 arrested as post-election violence flares in Guinea


People clash with riot police during a demonstration against the results of the local elections, on February 6, 2018 in Conakry.

CONAKRY, Guinea - Police have arrested at least 50 people following an arson attack that killed five children in central Guinea after last weekend&39;s local elections, a local official said.

Unrest has flared in the West African country after the ballot, with seven deaths recorded so far across the country amid violent clashes between opposition supporters and riot police.

READ: Guinea opposition cries foul in long-delayed local elections

"After the violence in Kalinko, security forces made arrests of at least 50 people who were all transferred to Faranah prison," Mamadou Lamarana Diallo, a local official, told Guinean radio on Wednesday.

Diallo said some of those arrested were carrying weapons, and that the wave of violence in the town had spread to nearby villages.

Sunday&39;s vote was the first of its kind since the end of the era of military dictatorship, and followed eight years of delays blamed on a lack of funds, political infighting and the 2013-16 Ebola crisis.

READ: E Guinea president dissolves government after polls

Opposition leaders have denounced the long-delayed local elections, saying vote rigging with proxy ballots occurred at several polling stations in favour of the party of President Alpha Conde.

Results are expected by Friday.

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