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Police release photos and names of 34 Sierra Leone fugitives

Police release photos and names of 34 Sierra Leone fugitives
A prisoner looks out of the Central Prison in Freetown on May 7, 2021.   -  
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Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone police on Tuesday published the photos and identities of 34 men and women wanted in connection with the clashes that left around 20 people dead in the capital Freetown on Sunday.

The 32 men and two women listed as "fugitives" include serving and retired soldiers, police officers and civilians.

The police statement posted on social networks promised a "handsome reward" to anyone providing information leading to their capture.

On Sunday, Freetown witnessed several hours of armed confrontation between the security forces and unknown assailants who tried to break into a military armoury. The central prison and other correctional facilities were stormed and dozens of inmates appear to have escaped.

The clashes left around twenty people dead, according to military and forensic sources. They were orchestrated by serving or retired soldiers, said the army spokesman.

The authorities have not specified their motives or objectives.

The events have raised the spectre of another coup d'état in West Africa, which since 2020 has seen coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea, all members of ECOWAS.

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