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Belarus: Dozens of arrests in Minsk as police use water cannon to break up anti-Lukashenko protests

Riot police detained protesters in Minsk on Sunday as thousands rallied for the ninth consecutive Sunday rally against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The interior ministry said water cannon and tear gas was used to disperse demonstrators who gathered in the capital to protest against his controversial re-election in August.

Independent media still operating from Belarus shared images of people being detained in brutal fashion, in what has been described as the most violent repression of a demonstration in Minsk for two months.

Military and crowd control vehicles were seen entering the city in the morning to prepare for the rally.

Videos of the protests show thousands of people marching in columns through the city, waving flags and chanting slogans.

Anti-Lukashenko protests have rocked the country over the past two months, with the largest rallies in Minsk attracting up to 200,000 people.

During the first days after the election, police used tear gas, truncheons and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

Several protesters died, many were injured and nearly 7,000 were detained.

The protests erupted after the August 9 election which handed president Lukashenko a sixth term in office in what critics say was a fraudulent vote.

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