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More than 600 protesters detained in Belarus



More than 600 protesters detained in Belarus

Human rights organisation Viasna on Monday said more than 600 protesters were detained during new mass protests against authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.

Viasna said several journalists were among those detained at protests that drew thousands to the streets around the country.

Official figures from the Interior Ministry were not available.

The security forces tried to disperse protesters at a mass rally in Minsk using stun grenades, tear gas and water cannon.

Images showed policemen hitting people with batons and chasing after them. There were numerous people injured.

It was the ninth consecutive weekend of protests since the disputed presidential election on August 9, in which Lukashenko claims he received 80 per cent of the votes, while the opposition said the true winner was exiled leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

The EU has not recognised the election results. Lukashenko, 66, has led Belarus, a former Soviet republic between Russia and EU member state Poland, for more than a quarter of a century, tolerating little dissent.

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