Belarusian Police admit using riot control tactics against Minsk protesters

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Representative Image

Minsk [Belarus], November 22 (ANI/Sputnik): Belarusian police confirmed to Sputnik they had to resort to riot control tactics to arrest people involved in unauthorized protests in the capital of Minsk on Sunday.

"Police officers used riot-control equipment to arrest people who violated public order and offered resistance, including in Minsk," Interior Ministry spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova told Sputnik.

Belarusian media published footage of bright flashes and thick smoke filling the air near a crowd of protesters who gathered outside of a metro station in western Minsk before marching downtown.

Thousands of people have been protesting across Belarus against the reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko on August 9, in a vote they call rigged. Police have been using tear gas, stun and smoke grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets to break up protests.

The Interior Ministry said the number of demonstrators had been dwindling from week to week.

An unregistered Belarusian human rights center, Viasna, said at least 116 people had been arrested across the country on Sunday, most of them in Minsk. Anti-government rallies were also staged in Brest, Grodno, Pinsk, Navapolatsk and Zaslauje. (ANI/Sputnik)