An internal document obtained by Politico shows that 31 people were killed during the violent antigovernment protests on 10 August in parts of Freetown and the north, up from the 27 that were earlier reported.

25 of them were civilians and six were policemen, with the youngest being nine years old and the oldest 67. They are believed to be the highest police and civilian protest-related casualties in a single day in peacetime Sierra Leone. Four of the deaths were females.

On the front page, The document, dated 15 August 2022, also says that 20 of the casualties died in hospital facilities. That number was from the total of 87 people who were brought in for treatment. It is not clear how many of the casualties died from gunshot wounds.

On Wednesday 10 August people turned out in opposition strongholds to protest against the government of President Julius Maada Bio. While some cited the high cost of living for their action, others chanted “Bio must go, we want peace”. President Bio however referred to the protests as an insurrection aimed at unconstitutionally overthrowing his government while he was abroad.

The slain police officers were given a state funeral presided over by the president, while relatives of the civilian casualties are still asking for their bodies to be able to bury them.

The ministry of internal affairs says a special committee set up to look into the management of the bodies is meeting to determine a dateline for a postmortem and whether they should be buried by the state or handed over to their families.