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Clashes in Niger capital over virus curfew

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Niger security forces PHOTO:AFP

Clashes erupted in Niamey, the capital of the Sahel nation of Niger, over the government’s anti-coronavirus curfew and a ban on prayer gatherings, local inhabitants told AFP Monday.

Violence broke out just after 8pm (1900 GMT) on Sunday in the rundown district of Lazaret, where security forces used teargas to disperse a crowd of people who wanted to hold prayers in a mosque.

Protesters, most of them young people, burned tyres and blocked streets with rocks.

Similar protests erupted in other parts of the city and continued until late, according to witnesses and images posted on social media.

Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, has recorded 648 cases of coronavirus since March 19, 20 of which have been fatal.

The government has isolated Niamey from the rest of the country, declared a state of emergency and imposed a 7pm-to-6am curfew. Places of worship and schools have been ordered closed.


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