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Police scuffle with protesters on March 25 in Minsk (AFP) MINSK, March 25, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- An unsanctioned opposition rally ended today in Minsk without violence, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Participants adopted a declaration demanding that a new presidential election be held and that all people detained in the past few days be released.

The declaration also says President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who won a disputed election victory on March 19, should not be allowed to run again.

The demonstration took place on Yanka Kupala Square, near the larger October Square, which authorities had blocked off.

Addressing supporters, opposition leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich announced the creation of what he called "a popular movement for the liberation of Belarus."

The opposition claims the March 19 election, which Lukashenka won with nearly 83 percent of the vote, was rigged.

(RFE/RL's Belarus Service, Belapan)
Minsk, March 24

THE POLICE MOVE IN: RFE/RL's Belarus Service filed these images from October Square in the early morning hours of March 24. All photographs were taken by Yuliya Darashkevich.






SEE FOR YOURSELF: View a short video clip taken on October Square on the morning of March 21:
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THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view a dedicated page with news, analysis, and background information about the Belarusian presidential ballot.

COVERAGE IN BELARUSIAN: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's coverage of the election campaign in Belarusian and to listen to RFE/RL's Belarusian Service.