Ethnic clashes kill 54 in southeastern Guinea

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 23:45 hrs

Officials say clashes in southeastern Guinea have killed 54 people and injured scores more, and they warn the death toll could be higher.

Noumandjan Camara, a hospital employee in Guinea's second-largest city, N'Zerekore, says he counted 54 bodies. That number was confirmed Wednesday by Jean-Marie Dore, a former prime minister who is from the region.

Both noted the figure only accounts for bodies that had been taken to the hospital.

A resident says the violence began Monday in a village outside N'Zerekore when members of the Guerze ethnic group beat a young Konianke man to death after accusing him of stealing from a gas station.

Witnesses said some victims had been beheaded with machetes.

Guinea is preparing for legislative elections in September that already have sparked violent protests.

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