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Police in Minsk cordon off approaches to downtown Independence Square

The number of protesters keeps growing tallying several thousand people by now, according to the latest data

MINSK, August 13./TASS/. Police in Minsk have cordoned off approaches to central Independence Square, where the Government and the Central Election Commission are located, TASS reports from the site.

Police units were also dispatched to the building of the presidential administration. Over ten buses with crack police units are parked there and special-purpose equipment used to disperse protesters was brought in. The number of protesters keeps growing in the meantime. TASS estimates their number as several thousand people, getting together in downtown and uptown Minsk.

Belarus held the presidential election on August 9. Preliminary results show incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko securing his reelection with 80.08% of the vote, while his main rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya received 10.09%.

After exit poll results were revealed late on August 9, suggesting Lukashenko’s landslide victory, many cities and towns across the country saw mass protests that in some cases escalated into clashes with the police. Protests have continued since Sunday. The national Interior Ministry said about 6,000 people had been detained while dozens of police officers and protesters were injured.