Sierra Leone party rivalry develops into riots across capital Freetown
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-17 21:02:49   Print

    LAGOS, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Sierra Leone party face-off has developed into mass riots on Monday across capital Freetown as agencies reports say women were raped during the rivalry between the two main political parties in the country.

    Al Jazeera television reported that at least 20 people have been injured and six women raped in clashes between the two largest political parties in Sierra Leone.

    The clashes were set off on Friday, when members of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) were accused of throwing stones and broken bottles at a parade led by the mayor of the governing All People's Congress (APC).

    Reuters quoted witness as saying that police fired shots in the air to disperse supporters of rival political parties in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on Monday.

    It was learnt that tension had been heightened since the widely-praised elections held 18 months ago in the war-torn country. Last week a by-election had to be postponed in the district of Pujehun because of violence.

    Sierra Leone has been recovering from years of political turmoil and civil war and has held two elections deemed by international observers to have been free and fair.

    Though rich in mineral resources that include diamond fields, the former British colony ranks bottom of the 177-nation UN Human Development Index, making it one of the poorest countries in the world.

Editor: Zhang Xiang
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