Minsk [Belarus], September 27 (ANI/Sputnik): Police in the Belarusian capital of Minsk have conducted the first arrests over administrative offenses ahead of yet another unauthorized anti-government rally, Natallya Hanusevich, a spokesperson for the police department of the Minsk City Executive Committee, told Sputnik on Sunday.
The Belarusian opposition has scheduled a new rally in Minsk on the back of month-long unceasing protest activity. The security services have stepped up presence in the city in this regard.
"Several people have already been detained as part of an administrative process. Police calls on citizens to ignore provocations and refrain from attending unauthorized mass gatherings," Hanusevich said.
A Sputnik correspondent reported from Minsk that special security forces had blocked the Prospekte Pobeditelei avenue leading to the residence of the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, and installed barriers around the building.
Traffic was suspended and roads blocked in the areas where protesters plan to march. Seven subway stations were closed in downtown Minsk along the anticipated rally's route, as announced by Minsk Metro authorities.
In parallel with the pro-opposition protest, supporters of Lukashenko have arranged their own car rally in Minsk. Their motorcade includes some 50 vehicles with official Belarusian flags installed on them. At least one participant of this rally carried a Russian flag, the Sputnik correspondent said.
The pro-Lukashenko rally is abundantly covered by state media agencies.
As reported by Belarus' A1 mobile provider, cellular internet has been working with disruptions in Minsk throughout the day. The provider said it limited the connectivity speed at the request of authorities. (ANI/Sputnik)