Three killed, 34 injured in riots after arrest of opposition presidential candidate in Uganda

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KAMPALA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- At least three people were killed and 34 were injured on Wednesday when violent protests erupted in the capital Kampala following the arrest of opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, police said.

Fred Enanga, police spokesperson said in a statement that the three people were shot dead and 34 others injured when protesters stormed the streets after the arrest of Kyagulanyi in the eastern district of Luuka.

Police said Kyagulanyi was arrested over his continued violations of the Electoral Commission and ministry of health COVID-19 guidelines during the political campaigns ahead of the 2021 general election.

"It is unfortunate that three innocent lives have been lost as a result of the violent fracas in the city. The cause of death will be revealed after conducting a post-mortem examination," said Enanga.

"A total of 34 people sustained injuries during the violent confrontations and were rushed to Mulago National Referral Hospital for further medical attention," he said.

Enanga said several suspects have been arrested and will be screened once the situation has normalized.

"The joint security task force shall not allow for such acts of violence to escalate into a civil crisis. Our quick reaction, CCTV monitoring and crowd control dispersal teams managed to suppress the violent groups with teargas and other lethal weapons," said Enanga.

"We are requesting members of the public to stay calm, as we counter the violent demonstrators. We urge all voters to know that it is their democratic right to support candidates of their choice. They should therefore, avoid such violent confrontations to achieve that goal," he said.

Uganda's ministry of health last week further eased its COVID-19 restrictions, allowing resumption of mass gatherings, political rallies and meetings of no more than 200 attendees, with strict adherence to two meters social distancing and consistent wearing of face masks

"We want to remind all candidates to ensure they observe the guidelines that were issued by the Electoral Commission. They were meant to help candidates campaign safely and reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission," said Enanga.

Uganda's electoral body earlier this month cleared 11 presidential candidates, including incumbent President Yoweri Museveni to run in the 2021 general elections. Enditem

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