Belarus election is followed by violence

Violent clashes between opposition supporters and police have followed the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.

Photographers and cameramen were forced to the ground to stop them capturing the police beating of one opposition candidate, 64-year-old Vladimir Neklyayev.

He was later taken to hospital with head injuries.

Claims of ballot stuffing and vote rigging rang out as demonstrators headed for Independence Square in the capital Minsk where parliament and the main government buildings are located.

Thousands marched in anger as exit polls pointed to what many said was a foregone conclusion - that of an overwhelming win for Lukashenko who polled nearly 80 percent of the vote.

Lukashenko who is often referred to as Europe's last dictator has ruled the former Soviet Republic with a tight grip since 1994.

The EU has suggested possible financial aid if there is a noticeable move towards democracy. But critics claim any political thaw is just window dressing.


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