UPDATE 1-Protesters ransack government buildings in Guinea smelting town

jueves 27 de febrero de 2014 12:19 GYT

(Adds comment from RUSAL spokeswoman)

CONAKRY Feb 26 (Reuters) - Protesters angered by the death of a young man in police custody ransacked a police station and government buildings in Guinea's main aluminium smelting town on Wednesday, local residents said.

Work at Russian aluminium giant RUSAL's Friguia refinery has been suspended since April 2012, hitting household incomes hard and aggravating social unrest in the town of Fria, 160 km (99 miles) north of the capital Conakry.

Protesters threw stones and burned tyres in the town's streets, before attacking the police station.

"The municipal police station is looted. The youth are in the streets showing their anger after the death of their friend," Fria resident Mamadou Gueye told Reuters.

"The few gendarmes and police officers who were on duty have fled the city," he said.

It was unclear why the young man had been taken into custody by the police. But town residents told Reuters he had been beaten to death.

Government officials did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

"There are no authorities right now. We're not seeing the mayor or the prefect ... no one," said a second Fria resident, who asked not to be named.   Continuación...