CONAKRY Feb 20 At least five people were killed
in Guinea's capital of Conakry on Monday in protests sparked by
a teacher's strike, the government said, reviving labour
tensions in a country where previous strikes have led to dozens
Guinea's main teachers' unions launched the strike on Feb. 1
to protest the government's decision to dismiss or cut the
salaries of many junior teachers after the latest civil service
exams, and many of their students have taken to the streets in
recent days to support them.
Beginning early Monday morning, unidentified assailants
attacked a police station and demonstrators clashed with
gendarmes in several districts of Conakry, witnesses said.
"By midday, these demonstrations had unfortunately caused
the deaths of at least five people," the government said in a
statement, calling the protest "illegal and forbidden".
It added that 30 people had been injured, including members
of the security forces, and 12 arrested. Witnesses told Reuters
that three of the dead had been shot but it was not possible to
verify that information.
General strikes about 10 years ago caused major disruptions
in Guinea, which has around a third of the world's reserves of
bauxite, used to make aluminium. The subsequent crackdown led by
security forces led to the deaths of 135 people.
The government said on Monday that a deal had been struck to
end the teachers' strike but that could not be immediately
(Reporting By Saliou Samb; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by