Senegal Police Fire Tear Gas On Protests

Published February 18, 2012 5:09PM (EST)

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Riot police fired tear gas on anti-government protesters in the capital as Senegal's security forces wrapped up early voting in a contentious presidential race.

Saturday marks the fourth straight day of protests ahead of next week's critical election, which pits the country's 85-year-old president against a young opposition demanding his departure.

Earlier on Saturday, some 23,000 security personnel including police and military lined up to vote early, as called for in the electoral code. No incidents of violence were reported. But protesters gathered on Avenue William Ponty in the late afternoon, prompting police to launch tear gas.

The increasingly tense atmosphere on the ground has many concerned that there may be unrest if President Abdoulaye Wade is declared the winner of the vote.

By Salon Staff

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