Angolan soldier kills teen during virus mask operation

An Angolan soldier shot and killed a teenager during an operation to enforce face-mask wearing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the government has said.

The home affairs ministry said a 17-year-old boy “was a victim of a gunshot” fired by a soldier on Friday while “allegedly” protesting against a military-led awareness campaign on the use of face masks.

In a statement late on Friday, the ministry described the case as “homicide” and that it was investigating the incident.

On May 9, a 21-year-old man was “accidentally” shot when police clashed with a group of people caught flouting a curfew and a ban on social gatherings in Luanda’s impoverished Huambo neighbourhood.

President Joao Lourenco declared a state of emergency in March, banning public gatherings and restricting movement to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In April, the government made wearing face masks compulsory.

Rights groups across the continent have denounced widespread incidents of violence by security officials enforcing anti-coronavirus restrictions.

To date, Angola has recorded just 48 cases of coronavirus, including two deaths.

Angolan soldier kills teen during virus mask operation