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Fresh violence erupts around Dakar mosque

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2012-02-19

Street battles took place between police and protesters Sunday around a mosque in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, a week before President Abdoulaye Wade is set to seek a controversial third term.

AFP - Senegalese riot police fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets at stone-throwing demonstrators after prayers at a mosque in the Senegalese capital on Sunday, an AFP journalist said.

It was the latest violence to rock Dakar ahead of next Sunday's election, as police tried to block opposition attempts to defy a ban and hold demonstrations against President Abdoulaye Wade's plan to run for a third term in office.

Sunday's clashes erupted outside a mosque, which demonstrators said had been "profaned" when it was hit by tear gas grenades thrown by a police officer on Friday.

Running battles erupted in side streets as hundreds of angry protestors gathered, some ripping boards off the windows of a boarded-up coffee shop to use as shields against police

Some protestors threw rocks as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

Others set a massive fire using material grabbed from a nearby construction site and tables from market stalls.

"Really, this isn't right. You don't do that at a mosque," said security guard Cheikh Gueye, leaning on his bicycle, unable to get to work.

Shopowner Mansour Dieng said, horrified: "A mosque, is a house of God! Wade has to go, it is the only solution for this country. We are tired."

Date created : 2012-02-19

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