Kampala, Uganda (CNN) -- The leader of Uganda's main opposition party was taken to a hospital in Kampala on Thursday after being shot in the hand, apparently by a rubber bullet allegedly fired by a member of the military police during a protest march.
"We met all of a sudden a blockade of the military police," Kizza Besigye told NTV Uganda after the shooting, his hand wrapped in white gauze. "Maybe there were about 100 or so, all across the road and beside. And so I kept on walking towards them. It was when I was about 10 meters from them that they started charging onto us and firing all kinds of things. Just shortly after they started firing, I was hit."
The demonstrations in Kampala -- Besigye's hometown -- were used by opposition parties to protest the government and recent increase in commodity and fuel prices.
Thursday's incident occurred as Besigye -- the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change Uganda -- was leading hundreds of Ugandans in a march to work in the suburbs of Kampala for the second time this week. "We just ask people to walk to work two times a week, and we want to do so to show solidarity," he said. "There are already tens of thousands of people who are walking to work every day because they can no longer afford the cost of public transport."
The shooting occurred when police fired tear gas and what appeared to be rubber bullets at the demonstrators -- who had surrounded Besigye in order to protect him, he said. Video from NTV showed police firing into the air and a number of people laying wounded on the ground.
The British High Commission in Kampala and the U.S. Embassy condemned the arrest of Besigye that occurred during Monday's walk to work. Police released him soon after with a warning.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Uganda Police Force said the march in Kampala violated the laws governing peaceful demonstrations. "This has occasioned lawlessness in some areas of the city suburbs, which included blocking roads, throwing stones and general disruption of day to day activities," said spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba.
She said that police had asked Besigye to walk alone, without being accompanied by his supporters. His insistence on including them led to a standoff that lasted for three hours, "at which time the gathered supporters became rowdy and started throwing stones and other objectives," she said. "Police officers stepped in to break up the ensuing mob action."
The report that Besigye was hurt "in the ensuing scuffle" is under investigation, she said.
In February, Besigye lost in an election bid to replace President Yoweri Museveni, who has led the country since a rebel group with which he was aligned seized power in 1986. Besigye, a former doctor to Museveni, lost previous presidential bids in 2001 and 2006.
Journalist Tom Walsh contributed to this story.