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On Tuesday, the African Union expressed its "grave concern" about the situation. "The (AU) Commission strongly condemns the indiscriminate firing on unarmed civilians, which left dozens dead and many others injured, while serious other violations of human rights were committed," the AU stated.
Human rights groups say they have had reports of soldiers bayoneting people and women being stripped and raped in the streets during the protest. Junta head Capt Moussa Dadis Camara denied knowledge of sexual assaults. But he admitted that some of his security forces had lost control.
Monday's violence was the worst since Camara seized control of the world's top bauxite exporter in a December 2008 coup. But the junta leader said he was not responsible for the deaths and would still hold meetings to decide on whether to stand in a presidential election due in early 2010.