No fewer than two police officers and one civilian were killed after anti-government protests broke out in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.
Reuters reports that Sierra Leone’s government previously said there had been deaths, but did not say how many, as protesters threw rocks and burned tyres in the streets out of frustration following the country’s worsening economic hardship and other issues.
The West African country, which has been struggling with rising inflation and a fuel crisis, imposed a nationwide curfew from 3 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) in a bid to stem the violence.
“As a government, we have the responsibility to protect every citizen of Sierra Leone. What happened today was unfortunate and will be fully investigated,” said President Julius Maada Bio on Twitter.
The police chief and spokesman could not be reached for comment.
A large crowds of protesters and piles of burning tyres have been seen in parts of the capital, Freetown. Other footage showed a group of young men throwing rocks on a street filled with whitish smoke, the news agency reported.
“People are upset about the country’s justice system which is sickening, daily price rises and economic hardship,” said Daniel Alpha Kamara, a university student.