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Monday Aug 10 2020

Belarus police detain 3,000 protesters

A man is detained during clashes with opposition supporters after polls closed at the presidential election in Minsk. — Reuters

MINSK: Police in Belarus detained 3,000 people for taking part in unauthorised gatherings during post-election demonstrations on Sunday, the interior ministry said, accusing some protesters of sparking clashes with police.

The ministry said in a statement that 1,000 of the detentions were in the capital Minsk and the rest in other parts of the country.

It said protesters in Minsk had lit flares, erected barricades, scattered nails and spikes on roads and thrown objects including paving stones at police.

Fifty civilians and 39 police officers were injured in clashes in the capital, it said.

"Some of the citizens taken to the country's medical institutions were intoxicated.

"No military weapons were used against the perpetrators. There were no fatalities," the ministry said.

Minsk police used stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas overnight to disperse thousands rallying in support of opposition challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya after Sunday's election, which officials say was won by longtime ruler Alexander Lukashenko.

Prominent rights group Viasna said Monday that a protester had been killed in the crackdown after suffering a traumatic head injury when he was hit by a police vehicle.