At least three civilians were killed and 89 others, including police officers, were wounded during Thursday protests in the breakaway region of Somaliland.

A senior police official said in a press conference in Hargeisa that protesters with firearms, swords, and sticks clashed with the police, which caused the casualties.

He added that 22 policemen and 21 civilians were wounded in Hargeisa, 29 policemen and six civilians were wounded in Burao town, and 11 policemen were injured in Erigabo town.

However, Abdirahman Irro, the candidate for the Wadani opposition party, said that the government had used extreme force against the protesters, causing six fatalities and over one hundred injuries.

An eyewitness told reporters that police forces shot the protesters dead.

Opposition leaders are demanding that the government hold elections on November 13.