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Learning English - Words in the News
24 January, 2007 - Published 11:00 GMT
Demonstrations in Guinea
Protests in Guinea

At least thirty people are said to have been killed in demonstrations in Guinea. That brings the number dead to at least thirty eight since strikes were called almost two weeks ago by unions protesting about the economic conditions and the rule of the country's president, Lansana Conte. Will Ross reports.

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Day thirteen of the strike and the most violent so far. Thousands of demonstrators continue to take to the streets, not just of the capital Conakry but in towns across the country.

Despite the fact that they're being met with live ammunition, the protestors are unrelenting. Accusing the president of Guinea, Lansana Conte, of being unfit to rule, they're calling on him to step down.

In his seventies and in poor health, he shows no sign of doing so, and over the weekend he called on the army and the population to unite behind him.

Conakry has witnessed other strikes before, but this is the biggest and, for the first time, the people want to take their protest right to the centre of the capital.

The strike has brought business in Guinea to a standstill. No-one knows whether the violence will put people off striking or galvanise the population against the president.

Will Ross, BBC News, West Africa

Listen to the words

here, work stoppage because people are unhappy with work conditions

using and showing force

people who show their (usually angry) feelings by joining others in public

live ammunition
bullets or other explosives that are fired from guns

people who disagree strongly with a policy or action

persisting, not stopping

to step down
to quit, leave a job

saw, watched

halt, stop

to stimulate or encourage to action

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