Guinean soldiers riot over low pay

May 13, 2007 at 7:37 AM
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CONAKRY, Guinea, May 13 (UPI) -- Six people died in rioting as angry soldiers in Guinea protested low wages and poor housing, it was reported Sunday.

To placate the soldiers, President Lansana Conte Saturday fired the defense minister and the army chief of staff, the BBC reported.

But rioting sparked again Sunday in the capital of Conakry after Conte failed to meet with the soldiers to discuss their working conditions, the BBC said.

It was not immediately known if the six dead were civilians or soldiers. The soldiers began rioting 10 days ago when Conte failed to raise their wages.

The military has backed Conte's rule since he assumed power in a bloodless coup in 1984 and keeping the military content is seen as key to remaining in power.

There were violent protests earlier this year in Guinea as citizens called for the ailing president to resign.

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