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Eritrean army conscripts 'killed in Asmara escape bid'

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image captionMany Eritreans flee to avoid long-term conscription into the army

Security forces in Eritrea's capital Asmara have killed several young conscripts who tried to escape the convoy they were travelling in, according to opposition media outlets.

There were also civilian casualties after some of the recruits' friends and family used a bus to block the road to help them escape, according to the unconfirmed reports.

Conscription in Eritrea is compulsory.

The Eritrean authorities have not commented on the alleged incident.

Rights groups consider Eritrea to be one of the world's most repressive states.

In 2015, it ranked bottom of the World Press Freedom Index, published by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Conscription in Eritrea can last for decades and is one of the main reasons tens of thousands flee the country every year.

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