By Biodun Busari

No fewer than eight police officers were reported killed during violent anti-government protests in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, the country’s youth minister, Mohamed Orman Bangura told CNN on Thursday.

According to CNN, Bangura said the dead officers were six men and two women as hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the capital Freetown, protesting inflation and the rising cost of living.

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The minister also confirmed that a number of civilians were killed in the brutal demonstrations while others were injured.

“We are yet to know how many people were injured. But I can confirm that eight police officers were killed,” Bangura said.

Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh imposed a curfew Wednesday to quell the protests.

Youth minister Bangura described the protests as an “act of terrorism”.

“Those are not protesters. There’s a difference between protest and riot and acts of terrorism. Protesting is different from acting as a terrorist…going against the state, killing young police officers,” he said.

He said that police made some arrests on Thursday, adding that the government’s opposition paid youths to embark on the violent protests.

“The police have made some arrests,” the minister told CNN while accusing the country’s opposition of financing the protests.

“This was well planned, calculated and financed by members of the opposition.

“Members of the opposition paid young people to come to the street to take over governance,” Bangura added.

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