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Burkina Faso Students Protest Deaths, Police, Rights Group Says

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March 9 (Bloomberg) -- Students in Burkina Faso demonstrated in five cities to protest the death of a student in police custody last month and other marchers killed in later protests, according to a local human-rights group.

Demonstrations took places in Koudougou, Fada N’Gourma, Tougan and Sabou, said Chrizogone Zougmore, president of the Burkinabe Movement for Human Rights, by phone today.

In Ouahigouya, in the north of the country, students and residents destroyed police and other government offices, according to Emile Bayala, a resident who spoke by phone. Viviane Compaore, governor of the North region, said in a phone interview she was under military protection after the offices were destroyed.

The student demonstrations began on Feb. 22 after the death of Justin Zongo two days earlier in police custody. He died of meningitis, Marie Odile Bounjoungou, the country’s education minister, said on national television. Two people were killed in protests on Feb. 23 and two students a police officer died on Feb. 24.

Schools in Burkina Faso were ordered closed from today until further notice, said Cloutan Samate, chief executive officer of the government’s information department.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Gongo in Ouagadougou via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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