Police in Belarus said Thursday they had detained 700 more people during a fourth day of protests over the ex-Soviet country’s disputed election.

“Some 700 people have been detained for participating in illegal mass events” on Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement, bringing the total number of people detained to more than 6,700.

The ministry said it had registered fewer instances of mass unrest “although the level of aggression towards members of law enforcement remains high”.

A total of 103 members of law enforcement have been injured with 28  hospitalised since Sunday, the interior ministry said.

Ukrainian activists and members of the Belarus diaspora rally in support of Belarusians protesting vote rigging in the presidential election, at Kiev’s Independence Square on August 12, 2020. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

In the capital and the town of Baranovichi, southwest of Minsk, drivers attacked members of traffic police, the ministry said.

“Members of law enforcement used arms to stop the transgressors,” it said.

Rallies and clashes with riot police erupted in the authoritarian ex-Soviet country amid claims long-serving leader Alexander Lukashenko has stolen Sunday’s election from his rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 37.

Police officers push protesters outside the Belarusian embassy during a protest against the results of Belarusian presidential election in Moscow on August 12, 2020. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

Dozens have been injured in the post-election unrest and two people died.

Police have acknowledged opening fire on demonstrators and wounding one in the southwestern city of Brest on the Polish border on Tuesday night.

Demonstrators protest against the results of Belarusian presidential election outside the Belarusian embassy in Moscow on August 12, 2020. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

For the second day in a row, dozens of women joined hands in the capital on Thursday to form human chains, many wearing white and holding flowers, to denounce the violence.

Demonstrators protest against the results of Belarusian presidential election outside the Belarusian embassy in Moscow on August 12, 2020. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

A religious procession was set to take place later in the day.

Police officers detain a woman outside the Belarusian embassy during a protest against the results of Belarusian presidential election in Moscow on August 12, 2020. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)
Demonstrators protest against the results of Belarusian presidential election outside the Belarusian embassy in Moscow on August 12, 2020. The placard features an image of Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko and reads “Go away”. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

-AFP

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