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Gabon security forces storm opposition headquarters

By AFP

Added 1st September 2016 05:50 AM

The president of the opposition National Union party, Zacharie Myboto, who was inside the besieged building, said security forces were hurling tear gas canisters and had opened fire.

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The president of the opposition National Union party, Zacharie Myboto, who was inside the besieged building, said security forces were hurling tear gas canisters and had opened fire.

PIC: AFP | Protests and violence have followed contested presidential polls in Gabon

Gabon security forces were attempting to storm the opposition headquarters early Thursday, leaving several people injured, party leaders said, hours after President Ali Bongo claimed victory in contested polls.

"They attacked around 1:00 am (0000 GMT). It is the republican guard. They were bombarding with helicopters and then they attacked on the ground. There are 19 people injured, some of them very seriously," said opposition presidential candidate Jean

Ping, who was not at the party headquarters himself.

The president of the opposition National Union party, Zacharie Myboto, who was inside the besieged building, said security forces were hurling tear gas canisters and had opened fire.

"For nearly an hour the building has been  surrounded. They want to enter the building... it is extremely violent," he said.

The government could not be reached for comment.

Results of the presidential election were announced Wednesday afternoon, handing Bongo his third term by a thin margin over a veteran diplomat and former top African Union official Ping. 

Angry protesters took to the streets shortly after the announcement, and set fire to the parliament building as they accused the government of stealing the election. 

The opposition has described the election as fraudulent and called for voting figures from each of Gabon's polling stations to be made public to ensure the credibility of overall result -- a demand echoed by the United States and European Union.

 

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