Belarus Protesters Attack Government HQ

Minsk erupts after Lukashenko re-election
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2010 3:57 AM CST
Opposition protesters light flares and shout slogans as they rally in downtown Minsk, Berlarus, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010.    (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
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(Newser) – Tens of thousands of protesters tried to storm government buildings in Minsk after the leader sometimes called "Europe's last dictator" won a landslide victory in Belarus' presidential election. Alexander Lukashenko won a fourth term with 80% of the vote, according to election officials, but the election has been widely denounced as rigged, the BBC reports.

Police used stun grenades to clear Minsk's main square and flooded another square in the city to discourage protests. Nine candidates stood against Lukashenko but none got more than 2.5% of the vote, according to official figures. One opposition candidate was beaten and seriously injured as police broke up a rally staged by supporters. Aides say he was later forcibly taken from hospital by men in civilian clothing.

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