Rising tension

Opposition parties, unions and representatives of the country's civil society had on Friday called for an international peacekeeping force to be sent to Guinea to protect the people from the armed forces.

"Political leaders are issuing false reports, they have no support in the country," said Camara who seized power in the francophone West African nation in December last year following the death of Lansana Conte, the president, who had been in power since 1984.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said Friday the regional bloc had named Blaise Compaore, Burkina Faso president, as "facilitator" to ease tensions in Guinea after Monday's bloodbath.

The unrest occurred near a stadium in Conakry, the capital, where demonstrators had massed to protest against the expected decision of Camara to stand in forthcoming elections.

The security forces said 56 people were killed but a human rights group put the toll at 157 dead and 1,200 injured, while the United Nations said there were more than 150 dead.