Fear of military coup hits Guinea as heavy gunfire is reported near presidential palace

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 5 Sep, 2021 16:45 | < 1 min read
Fear of Military Coup Hits Guinea: PHOTO/COURTESY

Heavy gunfire has been heard in the centre of Guinea's capital, Conakry, while soldiers have been seen on the streets near the presidential palace.

This happened on Sunday near the presidential palace in Guinea's capital, witnesses said, raising security concerns in a country with a long history of military power grabs and coup attempts.

It is not clear what is behind the shooting, and authorities in the West African country have not commented.

The district of Kaloum is reported to be deserted as terrified residents heed soldiers' orders to stay at home.

A senior government official told Reuters that President Alpha Condé was unharmed, but gave no further details.

The only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum peninsular, which houses most ministries and the presidential palace, had been sealed off and many soldiers, some heavily armed, were posted around the palace.

There are unconfirmed reports that three soldiers have been killed.

Videos shared on social media show convoys of armoured vehicles and trucks carrying soldiers patrolling the streets, although these have not been verified.

President Condé was re-elected for a third term in office amid violent protests last year.

Conde has faced mounting criticism ever since he sought a third term in office last year, saying the constitutional term limits didn’t apply in his case.

He was ultimately re-elected, but the move prompted violent street demonstrations, and the opposition said dozens were killed.

Conde came to power in 2010 in the country’s first democratic elections since independence from France in 1958.