FILE FRANCE GABON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.jpg
A file picture dated 10 November 2015 shows Gabon's President Ali Bongo being welcomed by French President Francois Hollande (not pictured) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France.
Photograph: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

Twenty-seven Gabonese opposition members were stopped by police from leaving the headquarters of their leader Jean Ping, after rioting erupted over the election victory of rival President Ali Bongo, Radio France Internationale reported Friday.

A government spokesman later said they were allowed to go home.

Security forces had attacked the building early Thursday, killing two people.

Opposition representative Paul-Marie Gondjout accused the government of "sequestering" the group, which included a former vice-president and a former cabinet minister.

They were allowed to leave after French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault expressed concern over their "difficult sanitary conditions" in the building and called for their immediate release.

Police have arrested hundreds of people after demonstrators set parliament on fire following the announcement of the election results on Wednesday.

Rioting continued Thursday, with protesters looting shops, torching buildings and clashing with police, according to RFI.

Bongo accuses the opposition of orchestrating the violence over the August 27 election, which Ping lost by a small margin. Ping accuses the government of fraud.

The election victory secured Bongo, whose Gabonese Democratic Party has a firm grip on power in the oil-rich nation, a second seven-year term.

The 57-year-old was elected for a first term in disputed 2009 polls following the death of his father Omar Bongo, who had ruled Gabon since 1967.

Related stories

Latest news

Plane crashes at airport in Melbourne

A five-passenger charter plane has crashed into a building next to Essendon Airport in Melbourne, with witnesses reporting explosions, fire and black smoke, police said Tuesday.

Air France pilots give green light to lower cost subsidiary

Members of Air France's main pilots union on Monday voted to accept the creation of a new lower cost subsidiary that the flag carrier hopes will help it compete on long-haul routes.

US Army General McMaster tapped as Trump's national security advisor

Army Lieutenant General HR McMaster will be the new White House national security advisor, US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday.

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."