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Guinea president declares 'state of siege'

Feb. 13, 2007 at 12:23 PM

CONAKRY, Guinea, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- President Lansana Conte of Guinea declared a "state of siege" in the country following three days of violent protests that lead to multiple deaths.

Conte said in a televised and radio broadcast address that he has instructed the country's army to restore public order and "take all necessary measures" to prevent a civil war, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The violence erupted after labor unions encouraged workers to strike in an attempt to oust Conte from the presidency.

Protesters took to the streets in several Guinean towns, causing violent clashes that lead to multiple deaths around the country, including 15 Monday in the capital, Conakry.

The strike follows a similar action last month that lasted for 18 days, ending only when Conte promised to yield powers to a prime minister. However, union leaders called for the strike to resume when the president appointed Prime Minister Eugene Camara, who they said is too close to Conte.

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