COVID-19: Protesters forcefully reopen mosques in Guinea

Anti-lockdown protesters in Guinea has finally succeeded in reopening mosques  that had been shut for weeks, according to witnesses, demonstrators, and a local official.

The protesters forcefully opened a handful of mosques on Wednesday a day after seven people were killed in clashes with police during protests.

The mosques had been closed since late March as part of measures to control the spread of the deadly disease in a nation that is around 80 percent Muslim.

Dozens of worshippers in the eastern town of Kamsar entered a mosque and thoroughly cleaned it before praying there, a witness said.

As they did so, the group comprised of women, young people, and children chanted “Allahu akbar”, meaning “God is Greatest”, the witness added.

“The government is unable to protect us from the virus, so we are leaving it to God alone. How can markets stay open, but mosques be closed?” one young protester said on condition of anonymity.

“We would rather die praying than live without prayer,” he said.

Another protester said “we have won – we prayed in the mosque. We are no longer wearing masks. It’s over.”

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