Security forces in Togo used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators calling for term limits that would bar President Faure Gnassingbe from running for a third term next year.

Protesters threw rocks at the security forces during Friday's demonstrations in the capital. The violence escalated when security forces blocked the demonstrators from approaching a square where they planned to hold a rally.

Gnassingbe took power in 2005 after his father, who ruled Togo for 38 years, died of a heart attack.

Term limits were removed from the constitution in 2002. Earlier this year, lawmakers considered a bill that would have reintroduced them but it was voted down by members of the president's party, who hold a strong majority.

A presidential vote is planned for March 2015.