Conakry: Security forces in Guinea opened fire on a car carrying three of the country`s top opposition leaders Monday, leaving bullet holes in the sides of the vehicle and heightening tension between the country`s opposition and the ruling party, according to witnesses. No casualties were reported.
Opponents of the ruling party had gathered early today at the home of opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, who came in second during the 2010 election.
Before the crowd could amass outside his villa, police began firing tear gas at the house, said Sidya Toure, an opposition leader who came in third in the first round of the 2010 vote.
Alongside them was Lansana Kouyate, an opposition leader who came in fourth place in the poll.
To try to get away from the tear gas, Toure said the three of them jumped into Kouyate`s bullet-proof car.
The driver attempted to head to Kouyate`s house in the Matoto neighborhood of Conakry, but on the way police began pounding the car with tear gas, said Toure as well as witnesses on the street.
"It`s the first time that I have seen something like this happen in Guinea. They were throwing the cannisters, aiming for the car`s reservoir. Then they started to shoot," Sidya said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Kouyate`s house, where the three had taken cover.
"They completely destroyed the cars that were in the convoy behind us. ... At first, when I heard the shooting, I thought they must be shooting more tear gas. It was when we got out that we saw the impact of the bullets. ... Thank God we were in a bullet-proof car," he said.
The opposition has been holding regular protests to stand up to what they say is President Alpha Conde`s attempts to tinker with the electoral code.