Bush condemns arrests in Belarus

WASHINGTON: The Bush administration promised Friday to join European countries in imposing sanctions on the regime of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

The sanctions are likely to include travel bans on Lukashenko and other top members of his administration, The Washington Post reported.

Lukashenko won a third term as president this week with official election results giving him almost 83 percent of the vote.

Early Friday, security forces arrested a group of protesters who had been camped out in the main square in Minsk to protest what they describe as a fraudulent election.

U.S. President George Bush's spokesman, Scott McClellan, said that the administration has called on Lukashenko to free the protesters.

"The United States calls on authorities in Belarus to release without delay the hundreds of citizens who have been detained not only in the past 24 hours but in recent days and weeks simply for expressing their political views," McClellan said