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Guinea police disperse anti-government rioters

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February 19, 2013 08:24 AM EST | AP

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CONAKRY, Guinea — Anti-riot police fired tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters who barricaded streets and threw stones at vehicles in the capital, Conakry.

Political tensions are rising in Guinea before national elections on May 12.

The young opposition supporters said they would make the city a ghost town Tuesday. They put tree trunks and rocks in the streets and threw big stones at cars by the Bambeto traffic circle.

Demonstrator Lamarana Balde said the protesters want change in Guinea.

Police Lt. Fadama Cissoko said the rioters broke the windows of vehicles and burned tires. He said the police would not allow the demonstrators to stop traffic and some protesters were arrested.

Small shops, taxis and street stalls were closed by the demonstration but government offices and banks stayed open.