POLITICS

Protesters attacked on streets of D.C. by foreign security guards at Africa Summit

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Protesters were attacked on the streets of D.C. after the conclusion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, ABC 7 News has learned.

Journalist among attack victims

Protesters demonstrate against Guinea president Alpha Condé on the streets of D.C. during the Africa Summit. (Photo: WJLA)

It happened Wednesday evening outside the Hay Adams Hotel, not far from the White House.

Witnesses said the attack began when members of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's security detail charged at the group made up of mostly Gambian exiles.

"We were here protesting, telling this guy he is nothing but a criminal" when the violence broke out, said protester Saul Mbenga of Jammeh - who was one was one of the summit contingent's longest-ruling leaders.

Three people were injured, including renowned journalist Fatou Camara, who is a well-known vocal critic of the Gambian regime.

Camara said she was kicked, stomped and beaten. She spent the night being treated at Sibley Memorial Hospital before flying home to Atlanta to recover.

Another assault victim, Ousainou Mbenga, said he was repeatedly hit with brass knuckles.

The Metropolitan Police Department said no arrests were made in the incident and it had no plans to file any charges.

Meantime, the Gambian security detail left the U.S. after the reported attack on a flight back to Senegal and apparently claimed to have diplomatic immunity.

It was possible the investigation into the attack could escalate to the federal level, however there was no definitive word from the U.S. State Department on Thursday as to whether it would take any action.

The Gambian skirmish followed a brawl on 14th Street that occurred Tuesday between supporters and opponents of Guinea's president, Alpha Condé. Punches were thrown and two people were arrested in that incident.

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