Tens of thousands of people take part in anti-government protests in Belarus

Thousands of people took part in anti-government protests in Belarus capital Minsk, and other cities against President Alexander Lukashenko.

Police arrested over 250 people ahead of the demonstration.

The march on Sunday dubbed as ‘March of Heroes’ have been triggered by a widely disputed election a month ago and subsequent brutal police crackdown.

Protesters want Lukashenko to resign after alleging widespread ballot-rigging.

But the Belarusian leader – in power for 26 years – has denied the allegations and accuses Western nations of interfering.

The 66-year-old has promised to defend Belarus.

Most opposition leaders are now under arrest or in exile.

It is the fifth successive Sunday of mass protests, with about 100,000 rallying each week.

Demonstrators marched on the elite residential area of Drozdy, where the country’s top officials including President Lukashenko live, but were blocked by police.

Rallies are also being held in Brest, Gomel, Mogilyev and other cities.

Election Results:

Long-serving Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term with 80.23% of the vote, the central electoral commission said, a result the opposition says was rigged.

Ms Lukashenko’s main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, won 9.9%, central electoral commission chief Lidia Yermoshina said.

Ms Tikhanovskaya rejected the results and demanded authorities transfer power to the opposition.

Ms Tikhanovskaya escaped to Lithuania with her campaign manager a day after the results were officially announced.