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Third Guinea minister resigns over massacre

The spokesman of Guinea's junta-backed government announced on Thursday he was resigning over the massacre of scores of opposition supporters, becoming the third minister to step down.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2009 09:18 IST

The spokesman of Guinea's junta-backed government announced on Thursday he was resigning over the massacre of scores of opposition supporters, becoming the third minister to step down.

In an open letter to the head of Guinea's military junta, Justin Morel Junior said he no longer had the "moral strength to deliver the word of the government" following the September 28 crackdown on an opposition demonstration that left more than 150 dead according the United Nations.

The decision by Justin Morel Junior, who also served as communications minister, comes after Alpha Diallo resigned as civil service minister and Abdourahmane Sanoh stepped down as agriculture minister this week over the massacre.

According to the United Nations and human rights groups, more than 150 people were killed when troops opened fire on demonstrators at a football stadium on September 28. The military government says 56 people died.

Local human rights groups also say 1,200 people were injured, including many women who were raped by soldiers during the crackdown.

The head of Guinea's military junta, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, has denied ordering security troops to attack the demonstrators, who were angered by Camara's apparent intentions to stand in the election the junta plans to organise next January.

Camara, who seized power in December last year just hours after the death of Guinea's longtime ruler Lansana Conte, has come under increasing international pressure over the massacre, with the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirming on Wednesday it was investigating.