Six police officers were killed in anti-government protests in northern and western Sierra Leone on Wednesday, the head of police said on Thursday.
Two officers were killed in the capital, Freetown, three in the northern town of Kamakwie and one in the northern city of Makeni, police inspector general William Fayia Sellu told Reuters.
Protests were concentrated in the north and west – opposition heartlands – of the West African country. At least two civilians also died in coastal Freetown.
Sierra Leone’s government previously said that there had been deaths, but not how many, as hundreds of protesters threw rocks and burned tyres in the streets out of frustration at worsening economic hardship and other issues.
The internet was shut down on Wednesday and the government imposed a 3 p.m. curfew in a bid to stem the violence.
Reporting by Umaru Fofana; writing by Nellie Peyton; editing by Mark Heinrich