Lome, Dec 8 (AFP) A young child was killed as opposition supporters clashed with security forces in Togo's capital, Lome, on Saturday, the security minister said, after the government banned protests about upcoming elections.
"A child was shot dead by individuals travelling in a 4x4 without a number plate. A search is under way to find the vehicle and its occupants," General Yark Damehane told AFP.
Damehane added that the child was aged about eight, although on social networks the victim was said to be about 11.
The minister said there had been reports of another death but there was no official confirmation. "A statement on the latest situation will be published this evening," he added.
In the northern cities of Sokode and Bafilo, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Lome, opposition supporters attempted to assemble for a demonstration. But they, too, were dispersed with teargas.
Sokode is a stronghold of the Pan-African National Party (PNP) of Tikpi Atchadam, who was behind the first countrywide street protests but is now thought to be in exile in Ghana for his own safety.
The coalition wants constitutional reform to re-introduce a limit of two terms of office for presidents, as well as an overhaul of the independent national electoral commission.
Before that, his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, was president for 38 years.
Earlier this week, evangelical, Presbyterian and Methodist churches in Togo called for the election to be delayed for several months because of concern about its organisation.
On Friday night, senior Muslim leaders also called for a delay. (AFP) SCY
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