DAKAR: Senegalese riot police fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of stone-throwing demonstrators after prayers at a mosque in Dakar Sunday, in fresh violence a week ahead of presidential elections. Rescue workers took away one man who was unconscious after being hit by a rubber bullet, an AFP journalist witnessed. It was the latest violence in days of urban clashes between police and protesters trying to defy a ban and hold demonstrations against 85-year-old 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. Senegal’s Interior Minister Ousmane Ngom later apologised for what he described as a “police blunder”, and urged politicians to hold any rallies away from mosques.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2012.