Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Belarus authorities have arrested more than 6,000 demonstrators over the past three days amid substantial opposition to election results that declared President Alexander Lukashenko the winner of another term.
Lukashenko's opponents say police have used violence to quell the protests since election officials said the president won re-election in a landslide Sunday.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Lukashenko's chief opponent, fled to neighboring Lithuania for her own safety, Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevicius confirmed Tuesday.
Belarus's interior ministry said about 3,000 arrests were made after rallies on Monday night, another 2,000 on Tuesday and 1,000 early Wednesday. Officials shut down Internet service this week but it appeared to improve on Wednesday.
Tikhanovskava had taken her husband's place as the leading opposition candidate after he was put in prison before the election. She rejected the preliminary results before fleeing Belarus.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy called on President Donald Trump to withdraw his nominee for ambassador to Belarus due to the unrest.
"Right now, this would be a huge mistake," Murphy tweeted. "It would look like an endorsement of Lukashenko's crackdown. The Senate should set aside this nomination."