Police in Belarus clashed with protesters in Minsk for the second evening in a row on Monday after President Alexander Lukashenko won a landslide victory in a contested election, a Reuters witness said.

Police were seen dragging protesters out of a crowd and beating them with truncheons. More than 30 people were detained, the witness said.

Earlier reports indicate that separately, the head of the Belarusian state security service said it had prevented an attempt on the life of Lukashenko’s main opponent, Svetlana Tikhanouskaya, the ONT television channel reported.

France on Monday urged “the greatest restraint” in Belarus after the security forces cracked down on protesters disputing results that declared Lukashenko victorious.

“We watch with concern the violence against Belarusian citizens who demonstrated after the closing of polling stations and call for the greatest restraint,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.


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