Belarus opposition leader leaves country

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanouskaya has left the country after two nights of violent clashes following the contested re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

She's joined her children in neighboring Lithuania, where they were moved during campaigning.

In a YouTube video on Tuesday (August 11) she denied being forced out - contradicting comments from her own campaign team.

"I made a very difficult decision," she said. "It's a decision I made absolutely independently."

She said she knows some will "hate" her for her decision, but that "children are the most important thing.

At least one person died as police clashed with protesters on Monday (August 10) after the opposition accused Lukashenko of rigging the vote amid widespread criticism from Western leaders.

Protesters set up barricades in several areas and threw petrol bombs.

Local media reported clashes in other towns.

Lukashenko has been in power for more than a quarter of a century.

He's compared the protesters to criminal gangs and dangerous revolutionaries with shadowy foreign backers.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the election was, quote, "not free and fair."

Foreign observers have not judged an election to be free and fair in Belarus since 1995.