Two killed in Guinea unrest linked to nationwide strike

By Saliou Samb

CONAKRY, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Two people were killed during clashes with police in the suburbs of Guinea's capital Conakry on Monday, their families and medical sources said, amid a that has paralysed the city and disrupted some mining operations.

The strike has emptied the main thoroughfares, closed banks and shuttered markets, but it also led to pockets of unrest in some residential areas on Monday. Groups of young men took to the streets to show their frustration with living conditions in the junta-led West African country.

The mother of 18-year-old student Mamady Keïta told Reuters her son had died after being shot in the chest in the Sonfonia district. Motorbike taxi driver Ibrahima Touré, 21, also died from a bullet wound after clashes with security forces in another district, his father said.

A hospital source confirmed both deaths.

There was no immediate comment from police, but a senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Keita's death without giving further details.

It was not immediately clear if there would be further unrest on Tuesday, but the strike, which includes the public, private and informal sectors, is set to continue.

The demands of an umbrella group for multiple workers' unions include the lowering of food prices, the lifting of internet restrictions, and the application of a wage deal reached with the government in November.

There has been no official response from the government, which was set up by a military junta that seized power in a 2021 coup. It has quashed recurring anti-government protests, sometimes violently, in the last few years.

Guinea is the world's second-largest bauxite producer. Traders on Monday said alumina prices in China were trading higher due to the strike, but the impact was limited for now due to Chinese inventories.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Sharon Singleton)


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