Conakry: Five young men died in fitness tests at a recruitment drive by the Guinean army at the weekend, security sources and hospital workers said Monday.
The five, aged from 23 to 32, collapsed at or near the finishing line of an eight-kilometre (five mile) run.
Candidates must finish in the top section of the run and then do press-ups, abdominal crunches and knowledge tests in order to be included among the 8,400 shortlisted candidates.
Unemployment and poverty in the West African state are chronic, and positions in the armed forces, police or customs, can be 10-times oversubscribed.
One of the deaths occurred at a military camp in the eastern town of Mandiana, a second in the southern town of N'Zerekore, and the three others occurred at Kankan, also in the east, the sources said.