FREETOWN, June 25 (Reuters) – A woman was severely wounded and unresponsive in Sierra Leone’s opposition party headquarters on Sunday as police surrounded the building during a news conference one day after the presidential election, a Reuters reporter at the scene said.
The person, who Reuters could not immediately identify, was badly wounded around the neck area and had no pulse. The window of the room she was found in had a shattered hole the size of a fist, the reporter said.
It is not immediately clear what happened outside the press conference or what happened to the woman. Two witnesses who were inside the building told Reuters they heard gunfire.
The woman’s injury appeared to have occurred when at least 200 members of the security forces surrounded the headquarters of the All People’s Congress (APC) whose head Samura Kamara is seen as the main contender to unseat President Julius Maada Bio.
The police did not respond to a request for comment.
The West African country voted on Saturday in a poll which the APC hopes will see public frustration with deep economic hardship foil President Julius Maada Bio’s re-election bid. Both main parties say they are confident of victory. Results are expected in the coming days.
The election has been tense. The APC said their election representatives were attacked and intimidated in three districts on election day.
Unusually violent protests last year over rising prices have raised fears of political unrest. Bio and Kamara reported small-scale attacks on their supporters before the election, while the APC’s recent questioning of the independence of election officials raised tensions.