Four held after Guinea stampede

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IOL pic july31 GUINEA-STAMPEDE1 Reuters Debris litters the ground after a stampede in Conakry, Guinea, on July 30, 2014. Picture: Saliou Samb

Conakry -

Guinea police arrested four people on Thursday over a stampede at a seafront rap concert that left 34 people dead, including 11 children, a judicial source told AFP.

The victims were trampled at a beach in the capital Conakry as thousands surged to the narrow exits at the end of a performance by rap group “Instinct Killers” marking the close of the Muslim holy month of Ramadaan on Tuesday.

A death toll of 33 was raised by hospital authorities after another concert-goer died of head injuries overnight.

The judicial source told AFP an investigation launched after the accident, which injured around 60 people, was progressing and that “there have been four arrests”.

The detained suspects include two of the show's organisers, a public official in charge of managing the beach and the suspended head of the Guinean government agency in charge of public events.

They were interviewed by police on Thursday, public prosecutor Aboubacar Sylla told AFP.

“All authors and makers of the crisis will be... tried so that the people of Guinea know what happened,” Sylla said.

Guinea has been observing a week of national mourning since the tragedy, and the government has banned seafront public events.

Conakry, which sits on the tip of a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, boasts kilometres of coastline as well as the nearby Iles de Los, islands which are popular with expat beach-goers.

Tourism has been hit by years of civil unrest, however, and the country of 10 million is struggling to cope with an Ebola epidemic which has left more than 300 Guineans dead since the start of the year. - Sapa-AFP

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