At least two killed in Guinea anti-junta protests on eve of coup anniversary

CONAKRY (Reuters) - At least two people were killed in Guinea's capital Conakry when armed security forces attacked the neighbourhoods of political activists on the eve of planned demonstrations against the junta that seized power in 2021, protest organisers said on Tuesday.

A committee of opposition groups, civil society organizations and activists known as the "Forces Vives" had called for peaceful demonstrations for the coup's two-year anniversary on Tuesday.

Sporadic protests have occurred against Guinea's junta-appointed President Mamady Doumbouya since he took office. Many end up in deadly clashes with riot police sometimes backed by soldiers.

Doumbouya's critics are frustrated with the time it is taking to hold elections and restore constitutional rule.

Residents and police sources said protests had already started in some Conakry neighbourhoods during the night, prompting security forces to intervene.

One 18-year-old and one 16-year-old were killed and a dozen others suffered bullet wounds, the Forces Vives said in a statement.

The junta has not commented on the allegations. A police officer who did not wish to be named could not confirm the reports.

But he said violence broke out again on Tuesday morning as police moved in to disperse participants gathering for the planned protests, which the government had banned as usual.

A doctor in Conakry said a third person was killed on Tuesday.

Guinea's military government is one of several in West and Central Africa that took power in a string of coups since 2020 and are now dragging their feet on election promises.

Authorities in Guinea proposed a two-year transition to democracy last October, down from a three-year timeline rejected by West Africa's regional political and economic bloc ECOWAS.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Richard Chang)