Second major fire in Guyana this week amid unrest
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) -- Guyana's capital suffered its second major fire
in a week amid street protests by opposition party supporters, as a blaze of
undetermined cause destroyed an unoccupied wooden building Thursday.
The early morning fire destroyed a Georgetown building that has been for
for years and was once occupied by an appliance company. No one was injured.
Around the same time a small fire broke out at a 120-year-old Anglican
nearby, and was quickly extinguished. Police removed two plastic containers
with what was believed to be flammable substances, said the Rev. Oswald
Trellis, an Anglican priest.
The opposition People's National Congress has denied playing any role in
fires. Governing party officials recently alleged that opposition leaders have
encouraged supporters to set fires.
On Monday, a fire in a main commercial district destroyed a dozen buildings
left several injured. One woman was killed when police shot over the heads of a
crowd to keep them away from the fire. Officials have not determined the cause
of that fire.
Police Commissioner Laurie Lewis said police were investigating the fires
had some leads and clues.
The fires came amid unrest among opposition supporters who accuse the
recently re-elected governing party, backed by ethnic East Indians, of
discrimination against blacks, who make up the bulk of opposition supporters.
Opposition supporters also have protested results of March 19 elections
gave the People's Progressive Party its third consecutive term in the South
American former British colony. The opposition has said many of its supporters
were left off the registry and unable to vote. At least 60 people have been injured
in the street protests.
About 2,000 opposition supporters had an all-night vigil near President
Jagdeo's office through Thursday morning. No incidents were reported.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.