Riot police clash with protesters in Belarus as President Lukashenko wins landslide

Phalanxes of Belarusian police in full riot gear violently dispersed thousands of demonstrators who poured into the streets to challenge the early count from Sunday’s presidential election indicating the longtime authoritarian leader won a sixth term by a landslide.

Hundreds of people were detained, according to a leading rights group.

The brutal crackdown that began late Sunday and lasted through the night followed a tense campaign that saw massive rallies against President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet nation with an iron hand for 26 years.

Mr Lukashenko was projected to win the country’s presidential election by a landslide in a campaign marred by suspected vote-rigging and arrests of opposition supporters.

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