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About 700 people detained in Belarus over 24 hours for unauthorized rallies

Protests continue in Belarus after presidential vote

MINSK, August 13. /TASS/. Belarusian law enforcement has detained about 700 people over the past 24 hours for participation in unauthorized rallies, the Interior Ministry of the republic reported on Thursday.

"About 700 people have been detained for participation in unauthorized mass rallies. Turmoil in the country is not as massive but the level of aggression towards the law enforcement remains high," the statement said.

According to the Interior Ministry, as a result of illegal actions of citizens on August 9 - 13, 103 members of the law enforcement were injured with 28 of them hospitalized.

The agency pointed out that on Wednesday facts and attempts of blocking the central Independence Avenue were registered near the TsUM shopping center, in the Malinovka and Serebryanka subdivisions, along Surganova Street and in other areas which led to disruption of public transit. The ministry also reported that in Minsk and in Baranovichi on August 12, members of traffic police were again intentionally ran over with automobiles. In order to stop the offenders the law enforcement members used weapons. Additionally, in Minsk riot police arrested two young men aged 18 and 19 who were filling bottles with incendiary liquid.

The presidential election was held in Belarus on August 9. According to the preliminary data of the Central Election Committee, incumbent president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko got 80.08% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who was considered his main opponent, was second with 10.09%. After exit poll results were announced in the evening of August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other regions of the country, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement forces. As a result, according to the republic’s Interior Ministry, over 6,000 people were detained, dozens of policemen and protesters were injured.