Scores arrested in Belarus opposition protest in Minsk

Scores of people have been arrested in the Belarusian capital of Minsk as supporters of the country's repressed opposition tried to hold a march.

The Sunday action was to commemorate the founding of Belarus' 1918 proclamation of independence from Russia. The Belarusian People's Republic lasted until 1919.

The anniversary is traditionally a day for opponents of the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko to try to rally.

Journalists at the scene counted at least 70 people taken away by police. The human rights group Vyasna said five of its observers were among those arrested.

Lukashenko, in office since 1994, sharply restricts opposition activities and independent news media.