November 17, 2010 / 2:40 PM / 8 years ago

Clashes break out in Guinea capital for third day

* Violence follows election result on Monday

* Two killed, many injured since then

By Saliou Samb

CONAKRY, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Rival ethnic groups clashed in parts of Guinea’s capital on Wednesday and the security forces fired sporadically and made a series of arrests, witnesses and a rights group said.

Tensions spilled over into violence some areas of the top bauxite exporter after opposition leader Alpha Conde was named winner of a Nov. 7 poll late on Monday, a result that rival Cellou Dalein Diallo is challenging in the Supreme Court.

Despite his calls for calm, some of Diallo’s mainly Peul supporters have taken to the streets, where they have clashed with the security forces and Conde’s mainly Malinke backers.

“Shooting and targeted arrests are continuing,” a resident in Koloma, one of the worst-affected neighbourhoods in Conakry, told Reuters by telephone on Wednesday.

As on previous days, violence on Wednesday hit Hamdallaya, Bambeto, Cosa and Simbaya neighbourhoods, all of which are mainly inhabited by Peul communities, witnesses said.

Police and medical sources said at least two people had been killed since the clashes began while Human Rights Watch said it had reports of dozens wounded so far, at least six of whom were brought in on Wednesday.

Authorities in the West African country called on security forces to refrain from using firearms on Tuesday, and a curfew was ordered in the northern Labe region, where armed men held up busses and robbed passengers.

“There are pockets of violence and continued reports of excessive use of force,” said Corinne Dufka, HRW’s senior West Africa researcher.

“There are people coming into the hospitals, both from inter-communal fighting and those wounded by the security forces,” she added.

After a tense run up to the poll and a long wait for the results, Conde was declared winner with 52.5 percent of the vote, confirming he had succeeded in overhauling Diallo’s first round lead and cancelling out an alliance Diallo secured with the third-placed candidate.

The poll was the former French colony’s first free vote since independence in 1958 and is due to bring a line to almost two years of military rule since the death of strong-man Lansana Conte in late 2008.

It is also hoped to provide legal certainty for billions of dollars of recent investment by mining firms in Guinea’s bauxite and iron ore riches. (Additional reporting and writing by David Lewis; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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