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Uganda Opposition Leader Besigye Injured as Police Block Rally

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Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye was injured along with with three senior members of his party when they claim police fired rubber bullets and assaulted them in halting a planned rally in the capital.

Besigye, leader of the Forum for Democratic Change, was injured as police blocked his access to the venue of the gathering, Wafula Ogutu, the party’s spokesman, said by phone from the capital, Kampala. Besigye and two other officials are at a city clinic, he said.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Ibin Senkumbi declined to comment when reached on his mobile phone today. Asuman Mugenyi, spokesman for the national force, didn’t answer a call to his mobile phone.

At least 11 people died and more than 480 were injured during similar demonstrations, led by Besigye, that started in April over the rising cost of living, according to the Uganda Red Cross. A second round of protests was held in October, when inflation surged to an 18-year high of 30.4 percent.

“The government of Uganda is gravely concerned at reports of people being injured during an unlawful public protest,” Fred Opolot, the director of state-run Uganda Media Center, said in an e-mailed statement. “As yet, details of what happened are unclear.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at