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54 bodies identified after Guinea ethnic violence: Medic

Brutal ethnic clashes in Guinea lead to death of 54 people whose bodies remained undistinguished for some time after fighting

AFP , Thursday 18 Jul 2013
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The bodies of 54 people burned alive or hacked to death with machetes in ethnic clashes in the west African state of Guinea have been identified, a medic said on Wednesday.

The violence broke out in the southern forest region early Monday when petrol station guards from the Guerze tribe in the town of Koule beat to death an ethnic Konianke youth they had accused of stealing.

Fighting quickly spread to the nearby provincial capital N'Zerekore, 570 kilometres (350 miles) southeast of Conakry, leaving homes destroyed and at least 80 people wounded.

The doctor, from a N'Zerekore hospital, said the death toll would continue to rise as bodies in the mortuary had not been identified because several "have no head, while others have no identity papers".

"For the 54 identified, we went on their identity documents. That has helped us a lot," he said, adding that the bodies would be returned to the Guerze and Konianke communities.

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