MINSK - Police in Belarus broke up a small protest on Tuesday against a parliamentary election the two main opposition parties say will be a fake exercise, and detained several protesters as well as a group of journalists.

The journalists, who included Reuters' Minsk-based photographer, a photographer from the Associated Press (AP) and a television film crew from German channel ZDF, were released after about two hours.

They were subjected to a search at a police station and had their cameras taken away. When they were released, the photographers' cameras were returned to them but the pictures they had taken had been erased. ZDF retained its footage.

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