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New clashes as opposition leader flees Belarus citing children's safety

Minsk, BelarusUnrest erupted for a third night in a row in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Tuesday following strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko's claim of victory in August 9 presidential election.

Security forces fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse thousands of protesters who took to the streets accusing Lukashenko, in power since 1994, of swindling the vote. security forces detaining dozens of people and beating protesters in the street. Another saw security forces smashing car windows and dragging some people out of vehicles to attack them. A third saw at least two news photographers being attacked and their cameras damaged. Car horns blared in solidarity with the opposition, and people marched, clapped and shouted "go away".
The mood on the streets of Minsk had been calmer during the daytime on Tuesday, but a Reuters reporter saw riot police parked outside several factories in Minsk amid calls on anti-Lukashenko social media channels for a general strike. 

People laid flowers at the site in central Minsk where a protester died in Monday's clashes. The European Union earlier accused Lukashenko's government of "disproportionate and unacceptable violence" and said it was reviewing its relations with Minsk.

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanouskaya said on Tuesday she had fled to Lithuania in the wake of the election result for the sake of her children. The 37-year-old former English teacher, who took her husband's place on the ballot after he was jailed, urged her compatriots not to oppose the police and to avoid putting their lives in danger.
Foreign observers have not judged an election to be free and fair in Belarus since 1995, and the run-up to this month's vote saw authorities jail Lukashenko's rivals and open criminal investigations of others who voiced opposition.

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