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Heavy gunfire heard in Congo-Brazzaville

BBC News BBC News 4/04/2016
Smoke rises near the compound of the local government office of Makelekele, which was set on fire by opposition supporters, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, April 4, 2016.: A government office in the Makelekele district of Brazzaville was set on fire early on Monday morning © Reuters A government office in the Makelekele district of Brazzaville was set on fire early on Monday morning

Heavy gunfire has been heard in the streets of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, where security forces have been deployed.

Anti-government protesters set up barricades on a road in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, April 4, 2016: Anti-government protesters have set up barricades and our reporter says many people are avoiding leaving their houses © Reuters Anti-government protesters have set up barricades and our reporter says many people are avoiding leaving their houses

At least one police station and a government building were attacked on Monday morning in the Makelekele district.

The government has blamed the so-called Ninja militia group for attacks.

It comes weeks after Denis Sassou Nguesso won a third term as president in a disputed poll.

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The Ninjas were a major anti-government force in the 1997-99 civil war.

They were loyal to former Prime Minister Bernard Kolelas, the the father of Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, who stood in the presidential election in March and got 15% of the vote.

The opposition says last month's election was marred by "massive fraud".

Mr Sassou Nguesso, in power for more than 30 years, won the election with 60% of the vote.

Reuters news agency reports that on Monday morning young opposition supporters were chanting "Sassou, leave!" in the southern area of the capital city.

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