In Pictures

In pictures: Political violence hits Burkina Faso

Protests to demand the removal of Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore turned violent in the capital Ouagadougou on Thursday.

Photographs by the BBC's Laeila Adjovi.

Image caption Many of those who gathered on the streets of the capital on Thursday were young. More than half of the country's 17 million population is under 25 and Blaise Compaore - in power for 27 years - is the only leader they have known.
Image caption As the security forces blocked the access to the parliament building and tried to contain the crowds with tear gas, some protesters built barricades on main streets and threw stones at the police.
Image caption For a while there was a tense stand-off between the two sides, but it did not last long. Gunfire was heard and MPs only just managed to escape the parliament building before it was ransacked.
Image caption “Our number is our strength,” reads the T-shirt of this protester.
Image caption Protesters also surged towards the presidential palace, and a government helicopter flying overhead fired tear gas at them, Reuters news agency reported.
Image caption Black smoke filled the air for hours near the parliament and all around Ouagadougou's city centre.
Image caption Some youngsters in the crowd proudly paraded anti-riot gear left behind by fleeing policemen. Dozens of protesters had been killed across the country by the security forces in what has been described as a "barbaric escalation of violence".
Image caption The protests forced the government to suspend Thursday's parliamentary vote on a constitutional amendment that would have lifted the limit on presidential terms so that Mr Compaore could run for office again in 2015.
Image caption Next to the parliament, the hotel where some MPs are thought to have been staying was attacked. Rooms, shops, kitchens, restaurant food and drinks were either stolen or destroyed.
Image caption By the end of Thursday the army declared a state of emergency and announced the dissolution of the government. It was the beginning of another turbulent period in Burkina Faso's recent history.

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