Guinea Capital Rocked by Gunfire Near President’s Palace
(Bloomberg) -- Soldiers armed with automatic weapons are on the streets in the neighborhood of Guinea’s capital Conakry where the presidential palace is located after heavy gunfire was heard, witnesses said.
Gunfire broke out at about 8 a.m. local time in the Kaloum neighborhood that hosts several administrative buildings including the prime minister’s office, parliament, and the French embassy. Shots were heard in several other neighborhoods, residents of the West African country reported.
Armed men in military fatigue could be seen outside army barracks as gunfire rang out in deserted streets in videos posted on social media. In one street, two tanks were stationed outside what looked like a military camp. Foreign embassies advised their nationals not to venture out.
“Heavily armed pickups are parked at intersections,” Mohamed Morgan, a Conakry citizen living in Kaloum, said by phone. “Everyone is home and the shots are getting louder.”
“The situation is under control,” Naby Youssouf Kiridi Bangoura, secretary general to the presidency, said later. “We will make more comments soon.”
President Alpha Conde was sworn in last December for a third term in office, vowing to fight corruption in the world’s biggest bauxite exporter. Initially hailed when he came to power in 2010 for ushering in democratic rule, Conde, 83, has increasingly cracked down on opponents as opposition against his two-decades long rule has grown. He survived a 2011 assassination attempt that left two of his bodyguards dead and several others injured, highlighting Guinea’s shaky transition to democracy following a 2008 coup.
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