Four children collapse after teargas fired into houses

Lilongwe on Monday: Photo credit -Towards Malawi Elections 2014/Twitter

Up to four children collapsed in the capital city Lilongwe and several other children fell victim after a heavy volley of tear gas was unleashed in residential area.

Police fired tear gas to disperse stone-throwing vendors resisting orders they move off the streets to designated flea markets.

But the security forces took their battle with vendors to residential areas where  tear gas canisters were being fired into houses affecting women, children and the old.

One of the mothers Doreen Nguluwe said she found her child  in Area 23 had collapsed after tear gas spread in her home.

“My baby collapsed due to heavy teargas in our property,” Nguluwe said.

She said the security forces must be instructed on how to use tear gas in line with international policing standards.

Kamuzu Central Hospital sources said they treated at least four children who had collapsed due to teargas.

Lilongwe police spokesman Kingsley Dandaula said vendors resorted to rioting and Police responded with tear gas.

“The vendors, city authorities and us (police) agreed that all vendors must move out of the streets by today (Monday, February 6th) but others were still resisting,” he said.

Dandaula said 42 people had been arrested by late afternoon and that he expected more arrests.

He said the arrested  vendors have been charged with a offence of “Conduct Likely to Cause Breach of Peace and Unlawful Breaking (into buildings).”

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