Belarusian opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova 'seized by unidentified people' in Minsk

Two LGBT activists kiss while holding rainbow's flags during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk Belarus

Two LGBT activists kiss while holding rainbow's flags during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk Belarus

"Despite rain and pressure from the authorities, despite repression, many more people turned up in Minsk than last Sunday", top opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova told reporters. Last week Ms Kolesnikova said she was launching a new political party called "Together" that would push for constitutional reforms.

Her disappearance follows a massive rally Sunday that drew an estimated 100,000 protesters pushing for the resignation of Lukashenko, who extended his 26-year rule in the August 9 election that the opposition sees as rigged.

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Unidentified masked men detained prominent Belarusian protest leader Maria Kolesnikova in central Minsk on Monday morning and drove her off in a minivan, the Belarusian Tut.By media outlet cited a witness as saying.

The Coordination Council denounced what it described as "methods of terror used by the government instead of a dialogue with society".

Huge crowds of Belarusian protesters on Sunday flooded the capital Minsk, urging strongman Alexander Lukashenko to quit power, defying the threat of arrest and a massive deployment of forces.

After a brutal crackdown in the first few days after the vote that stoked global outrage and swelled the ranks of protesters, the authorities have switched to threats and selective arrests of opposition activists and demonstrators.

Belarus's Soviet-era master Russian Federation, which has long courted Lukashenko as a buffer against the West, has promised him military support.

"We demand the immediate release of all those who were arrested before the elections, on the day of the election and since the election, simply for exerting their democratic, self-evidential rights as citizens", he said.

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Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, in power for 26 years, has faced a wave of opposition protests since his August 9 election victory.

Kolesnikova's allies said they were checking the report of her detention, and that they were unable to get in touch with some other members of her team too and were concerned about their safety.

Several other council members have been called in for questioning.

The main opposition challenger in Belarus' disputed presidential election Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Friday urged the worldwide community to impose sanctions on "the individuals that committed electoral violations and crimes against humanity" and take other measures to stop the violence against protesters.

The European Commission expressed concern about "unexplained and arbitrary arrests" in Belarus on Monday, while Germany has also condemned the widespread arrests.

She told the UN Security Council that Lukashenko engaged in a "cynical and blatant attempt.to steal the votes of the people" and "does not represent Belarus anymore".

Many say they will keep taking to the streets until the leader quits.

Protesters with children in tow stand at a barbed wire fence in front of a police line at the palace Sunday.

The former teacher ran against Lukashenko after her husband, a popular blogger, was jailed.

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