Police in Uganda used tear gas and beat opposition activists on Friday as voting in the country’s national elections descended into violence.

Opposition candidate Kizza Besigye was detained by police who burst into his election headquarters in the capital, Kampala, just as he was about to start a press conference to dispute the election process, according to The Associated Press.

Another opposition leader said he had been barricaded in his home by police vehicles, Reuters reports.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is hoping to extend his 30-year rule. One of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, he has been a valued U.S. ally in an unstable region. Museveni has been praised for helping Uganda achieve economic growth and for leading a successful campaign against HIV/AIDS, but has been criticized over alleged human rights abuses by his security forces.

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