According to the nation’s youth minister, eight police officers were slain during violent anti-government rallies in Sierra Leone on Wednesday.

According to the youth minister Mohamed Orman Bangura, the officers—six men and two women—were “brutalized” and slain in the vicinity of the protests on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protestors took to the streets of Freetown, the nation’s capital, to voice their opposition to inflation and the country’s rising standard of life.

At times, the protests turned violent. On social media, there were graphic depictions of beaten and critically hurt demonstrators as well as some security personnel. Additionally, security personnel were spotted shooting at civilians.

Bangura stated that he was unable to quickly ascertain how many citizens were killed or hurt during the violent protests.

“I can confirm that eight police officers were killed, but we do not yet know how many people were injured.”

To put an end to the demonstrations, vice president Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh issued a curfew on Wednesday.

The protests were referred to as a “act of terrorism” by youth minister Bangura.

“They are not demonstrators. There is a distinction to be made between a demonstration, a riot, and terrorist acts. Acting as a terrorist is different from protesting; doing things against the law, killing young police officers, etc “said he.

The minister told CNN that “the police have made some arrests” and charged that the nation’s opposition was funding the demonstrations.

“This was carefully thought out, plotted, and funded by opposition All People’s Congress members. Young people were hired by opposition party members to take to the streets and assume power “According to Bangura, a member of the Sierra Leone People’s Party in power.

“Why doesn’t the protest occur in all of the current government’s strongholds if the expense of living is the cause? Why is the opposition’s headquarters located in Makeni specifically? Why isn’t there a global strike? Why do they (the opposition) believe that they only have a stronghold in three of the 16 districts? “He queried.

CNN reports that they have contacted the opposition APC for comment but have not yet received a response.

The violence has been condemned by Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, one of the top figures in the main opposition APC party.
Aki Sawyerr begged for an end to the violence in a moving video that was posted on Wednesday, saying, “This is not about party, but about people.”

The mayor continued by saying that she and the steering committee of religious leaders had been praying for peace and racial harmony in Sierra Leone.

“My heart goes out to everyone who lost their lives and loved ones today in our city, as well as to those who lost property all throughout the city. We are all brothers and sisters; I firmly believe in peace and oppose violence “Speaking in the regional creole, she said.