Street brawls break out in Guinean alumina town

The Guinean town of Fria has seen street brawls break out during the weekend over the alleged theft of diesel from an alumina refinery by black market fuel merchants.

Reuters reports that on Sunday local youths used knives and firearms to attack traders suspected of stealing diesel from the town’s alumina refinery for sale on the black market.

The fighting lasted for several hours before local security forces were able to disperse participants. Over 20 people were injured in the street brawls.

Fria is home to a refinery owned by Russia’s RUSAL, the world’s largest producer of aluminum.

The refinery, which has a production capacity of 630,000 tonnes per year, has been closed since April in the wake of labor disputes.

The incident further damages Guinea’s image as a viable investment destination. The small West African nation has struggled to attract foreign capital of late despite being the world’s leading supplier of aluminum ore bauxite and harboring abundant reserves of iron ore.