Malawi protests leave 18 dead: Official

violent protests degenerated into looting and running battles with security forces.

Blantyre: Eighteen people have died
across Malawi after two days of violent protests that
degenerated into looting and running battles with security
forces, a health ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

"So far we have recorded 18 deaths, but we have yet to
do post-mortems to determine cause of deaths," Henry Chimbali

"The bodies had fractured bones, deep cuts, broken
ribs and lost a lot of blood."

Nine people died in the northern town of Mzuzu, six in
the capital Lilongwe, two in the commercial hub of Blantyre,
and one in the town of Karonga on the border with Tanzania, he

At least 22 others have been treated for injuries at
various hospitals throughout the country, he added.

Rights activist Moses Mkandawire, who heads Church and
Society, a charity run by the Presbyterian church, said
earlier that seven people in Mzuzu had been shot dead by
police during protests yesterday.

Police opened fire when looters descended on
Chinese-owned shops and offices of the ruling Democratic
Progressive Party (DPP) of President Bingu wa Mutharika,
Mkandawire said.

The army deployed soldiers in Lilongwe and Blantyre
today to quell the protests, which accused Mutharika of
mismanaging the economy and trampling on democratic freedoms.


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