19 Dec 2010

Protesters try to storm government HQ in Belarus

Thousands of opposition protesters in Belarus have tried to storm the government headquarters, following the country's presidential election.

The demonstrators smashed windows and the doors of the building in Minsk, but were later pushed back by riot police.

Earlier the police broke up a smaller rally. Opposition candidate Vladimir Neklyaev was seriously injured.

Incumbent Alexander Lukashenko is widely expected to win the poll, which the opposition claims has been rigged.


Exit polls suggest he is far ahead of his nearest rival in Sunday's vote, having secured more than 70% of the vote.

Under the authoritarian leader now seeking his fourth term, the former Soviet republic has never held a poll seen as fair by international monitors.

See BBC News for more