CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Officials say clashes in southeastern Guinea have killed 54 people and injured scores more, and they warn the death toll could be higher.
Noumandjan Camara, a hospital employee in Guinea's second-largest city, N'Zerekore, says he counted 54 bodies. That number was confirmed Wednesday by Jean-Marie Dore, a former prime minister who is from the region.
Both noted the figure only accounts for bodies that had been taken to the hospital.
A resident says the violence began Monday in a village outside N'Zerekore when members of the Guerze ethnic group beat a young Konianke man to death after accusing him of stealing from a gas station.
Witnesses said some victims had been beheaded with machetes.
Guinea is preparing for legislative elections in September that already have sparked violent protests.