Opposition protests in decline in Belarus

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MINSK | The Belarusian interior ministry said on Wednesday that post-election protest was waning after a third night of protests violently suppressed by the police.

“The number of demonstrators was less that night, and the number of cities where demonstrations were taking place were also less,” ministry spokeswoman Olga Tchémodanova told AFP.

She was unable to say how many people were arrested or injured overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Minsk had reported 200 people hospitalized and 5,000 arrests after two nights of protests suppressed by the police, who used sound grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.

Last night, according to AFP journalists, witnesses and opposition media, riot forces ruthlessly stormed small groups of people in Minsk in order to prevent gatherings from growing.

They also attacked motorists honking their horns, a sign of support for protesters, smashing car windows and calling out drivers. They also searched the courtyards of buildings.

The protesters denounce the re-election with a lot of fraud on Sunday of the authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, in power for 26 years.

Her main presidential rival, opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, claimed victory, before leaving the country for Lithuania, on the night of Monday to Tuesday. A departure under threat from the authorities, according to his campaign.

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