CONAKRY, Feb 20 - Guinea's government announced the deaths and condemned the events leading to them, calling the demonstrations illegal.

It called for restraint and said it would prosecute those involved in violence.

The dead were shot at close range by riot police and gendarmerie in Conakry, according to a hospital worker, but it was not immediately clear if the five killed were all young people.

Police and hospital workers confirmed at least 30 people were injured, including members of the security forces.

The West African country's two largest teacher trade unions have been on strike for weeks, demanding higher salaries and the resumption of work by contracted teachers.

They say the government is not meeting their demands.

AAP