Protests over Senegal's delayed presidential election turn deadly

At least two people are now reported to have died during protests in Senegal, the first casualties of unrest that broke out after a presidential election planned for this month was pushed back to the end of the year.

Geography student Alpha Yero Tounkara died amid protests at a university in the northern city of Saint-Louis on Friday, the interior ministry confirmed on Saturday.

It said in a statement that his death would be investigated, but denied its forces were involved.

The second victim has been named by media as Modou Gueye, a street vendor in the capital, Dakar.

While authorities have not publicly confirmed his death, RFI spoke to a relative who said that Gueye had been shot on Friday in south-western neighbourhood of Dakar.

"He wasn't taking part in the protests, he was just out shopping," his brother-in-law told RFI's Charlotte Idrac.

Both Gueye and Tounkara are said to have been in their early 20s.

Videos posted to social media suggest there were others injured as well.

The Red Cross told RFI that it was compiling a tally of casualties across Senegal from violent protests on Friday, the first day of widespread unrest since President Macky Sall called off the election scheduled for 25 February.

More protests planned

In Dakar, police fired tear gas to stop demonstrators gathering in a central square. Hundreds of demonstrators threw stones at police and set fire to tyres.

Clashes spread to other areas of the capital, closing main roads, train lines and markets.

Read more on RFI English

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