At least 3 dead, 1,200 de­tained as vote protest grips Gabon

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

LI­BRE­VILLE, Gabon — Gabon’s newly re-elected pres­i­dent sought to as­sert author­ity Thurs­day as the pres­i­den­tial guard at­tacked the op­po­si­tion can­di­date’s party head­quar­ters amid fiery protests that have seen three killed, hun­dreds de­tained and the in­ter­net blocked.

The op­po­si­tion al­leged elec­tion fraud af­ter re­sults an­nounced Wed­nes­day showed that a fam­ily dy­nasty stretch­ing back to the 1960s would re­main in power in this oil-rich Cen­tral African coun­try.

Pres­i­dent Ali Bongo Ondimba beat op­po­si­tion can­di­date Jean Ping 49.8 per­cent to 48.2 per­cent in Satur­day’s vote, ac­cord­ing to the elec­toral com­mis­sion’s pro­vi­sional re­sults.

Ping’s sup­port­ers have taken to the streets, loot­ing and burn­ing cars and build­ings. Se­cu­rity forces de­tained 800 peo­ple in the cap­i­tal, Li­bre­ville, and 400 in other ar­eas of the na­tion.

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