Swaziland Police Fire Teargas Into Classroom Packed With Children

Police in Swaziland /eSwatini fired a canister of teargas into a primary school classroom packed with children.

It happened when police attacked striking workers in Malkerns.

Children at St. Andrew's Primary were taken to Mankayane Government Hospital for treatment.

Police fired teargas, water cannon and live bullets during a strike of kombi (bus) drivers and conductors on Friday (27 September 2019). It was the second time in three days that police had fired teargas at striking workers.

The workers blocked roads in the small town, the Observer on Saturday newspaper in Swaziland reported. It said the workers were only armed with stones and bottles. 'Armed police officers charged in firing some shots and teargas canisters,' it reported. Some of the workers entered the school during the violence.

The protest was over the continuing arrest for traffic offences of public transport drivers servicing the Malkerns route. 'To them, the rate at which they were time and again found to be on the wrong side of the traffic laws was an orchestrated move aimed at victimising them,' the Observer reported.

Two days earlier, police fired rubber bullets and teargas at striking public service workers, injuring at least 15. The workers were at the end of a three-day strike over cost-of-living pay rises. The violence happened at Mbabane after what local media called 'a long day of peaceful protest'. Workers had been protesting across the kingdom.

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