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Senegal protesters clash with security forces over presidential election delay

Clashes erupted between security forces and protesters in the Senegalese capital Dakar and other cities on Friday, with one student killed at a protest in the city of Saint-Louis.

Senegalese security forces on Friday used tear gas to disperse people attempting to gather in the capital after being urged to mobilise against a last-minute delay of presidential elections.

Anti-riot police kept back groups of people trying to get to the large Place de la Nation in central Dakar, where a rally had been planned.

Some demonstrators responded by throwing stones and all access points to the square were closed off, AFP journalists saw.

"The situation is deplorable. We came to pray and we got gassed. It's intolerable," Thierno Alassane Sall, one of the 20 candidates who had been due to vie for the presidency, told AFP.

"The Senegalese must be outraged and not just on social media."

In a test of the balance of power between President Macky Sall and opponents, people were urged to show their opposition Friday to Sall's sudden decision to postpone the February 25 election by 10 months.

On Monday, parliament backed the move, sparking a fierce opposition backlash and international concern.

The unprecedented move has called into question the West African country's reputation for democratic stability in a region beset by military coups.

It did not detail what those measures would be.


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