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Sierra Leone Cops, Civilians Killed

Protesters shout as they face riot police during anti-government protests in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Aug. 10, 2022.

At least 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.

At least 13 civilians were killed in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, during anti-government protests on Wednesday, staff at the city's main mortuary said on Thursday.

Sierra Leone's government previously said that there had been deaths, but not how many, as hundreds of protesters threw rocks and burned tires in the streets out of frustration at worsening economic hardship and other issues.

Protests were concentrated in the north and west - opposition heartlands - of the West African country. At least two civilians also died in coastal Freetown.

The internet was shut down on Wednesday and the government imposed a 3 p.m. curfew in a bid to stem the violence.