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Africa

Calm returns after overnight anti-Wade clashes

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2012-01-28

Calm returned Saturday after deadly overnight clashes followed the constitutional court's ruling that Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade can run for a third term in next month's election. Opposition figures are calling for Wade's "removal".

AFP - Rioters killed a policeman late Friday, police said, as the opposition called a march on the presidential palace to "remove" President Abdoulaye Wade after a court cleared his bid for a third term.

"They killed a policeman," Dakar police commissioner Arona Sy told AFP of clashes between police and demonstrators in the capital, without saying how he died.

Angry youths spread through the streets of Dakar, burning tyres and brandishing rocks after a mass gathering turned violent when protesters threw stones at policemen who retaliated with teargas.

The clashes broke out at news that the Constitutional Council had given Wade the green light to run in February 26 presidential polls.

"I see fires, it is impossible to pass. There are fires in Sacre-Coeur (central), on the VDN" a main road leading to the north of the capital, a witness driving through the city told AFP.

Private television stations showed youths erecting barricades and burning tyres along the city's main arteries, and engaging in running battles with anti-riot police who lobbed teargas at the protesters.

The June 23 Movement of opposition against Wade's candidacy, which called Friday's rally, appealed to Senegalese to march on the presidential palace in downtown Dakar.

Spokesman Abdoul Aziz Diop said the M23 "calls on the Senegalese people to mobilise and march on the Presidential Palace and remove Wade who is squatting there."
 

Date created : 2012-01-28

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