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Students riot in Congo after final exams cancelled

democratic republic of congo mapThousands of students rioted Friday in Congo’s capital Brazzaville, attacking schools and the education ministry after authorities cancelled the final day of end-of-year exams over alleged “massive fraud”.

Students in one area of the capital broke doors and windows of their school and pelted cars with rocks after the cancellation was announced via government media sources, authorities said.

In another part of Brazzaville, where testing had been underway since Tuesday, students erected barricades and burned tyres but were chased off after security forces fired tear gas at them.

By the end of the morning the courtyard at the ministry of education was littered with stones thrown by angry students.

According to police the outburst was over within hours.

“The students expressed their anger briefly. They went home and police are in control of the situation,” said police spokesman Colonel Jules Monkala Tchoumou.

Some students blamed security forces for the situation turning violent.

“After the announcement that the exam was cancelled we went outside to protest peacefully,” said student Amour Maloula in the southern city of Pointe Noire.

“To our surprise a battalion of police officers, soldiers and gendarmes suddenly appeared and threw tear gas canisters at us. Some of my friends were hit with truncheons.”

Authorities announced that the remaining testing for the baccalaureat will be rescheduled.

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