Two people have been killed in Benin after police on Saturday opened fire on protesters. Over a dozen people have also been injured as a result of the shooting.
The police officers were attempting to break up a demonstration by protesters in the capital, Cotonou.
The AFP quotes the city’s mayor, Timothee Biaou as saying that the protesters had erected barricades and blockaded the national road since Tuesday.
Timothee Biaou said “This morning, a contingent of the republican police came to clear the roadblocks.
Gunfire was exchanged between police and masked individuals. Seven civilians were taken to hospital and there were also two deaths.”
For almost four days now security officials have been trying to control protesters who have been agitating over the outcome of parliamentary elections in April.
During the April legislative elections the country’s electoral commission blocked all opposition parties from contesting.
Not having an opposition party in parliament means no major restrictions or scrutiny of government policies.
The opposition parties have been agitating over their disqualification from the legislative election. They have held several demonstrations in the capital city of Cotonou over the issue.
On Friday over thirty police officers were injured after clashing with protesters.
Benin’s Interior Minister Sacca Lafia “small groups used handmade rifles and knives to seriously wound about 30 officers.”
The police officers were wounded in northern Benin, where supporters of the former president, Boni Yayi set up barricades.
Boni has been under house arrest in Cotonou since 1 May. The police fired live ammunition, according to the Interior Minister.