Eight police officers and two-dozen civilians were killed during violent anti-government protests in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, the country’s youth minister said.
The officers, six men and two women, were “brutalized” and killed in the area where the protests held on Wednesday, youth minister Mohamed Orman Bangura said.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the capital Freetown on Wednesday, protesting inflation and the rising cost of living in the West African country. The protests grew violent at times.
At least 24 civilians were killed in protests in Sierra Leone, with 13 people shot dead in Freetown and another eight killed in Kamakwie and Makeni towns, citing hospital sources. The vice president imposed a curfew to quell the protests.
“Those are not protesters. There’s a difference between protest and riot and acts of terrorism. Protesting is different from acting as a terrorist…going against the state, killing young police officers,” he said.
“The police have made some arrests,” the minister told CNN while accusing the country’s opposition of financing the protests.
The opposition party APC for comment, but has yet to hear back. Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has denounced the violence and pleaded for an end to the violence.
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