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Burkina Faso army fires at coup plotter barracks

Published 29/09/2015

Burkina Faso government soldiers take cover as they patrol a suburb taking control from the soldiers who took part in a coup in Ouagadougou (AP)
Burkina Faso government soldiers take cover as they patrol a suburb taking control from the soldiers who took part in a coup in Ouagadougou (AP)

Burkina Faso's army has fired at the barracks of the presidential guard that carried out a short-lived coup this month and is now refusing to disarm.

Army spokesman Captain Guy Herve Ye said that artillery has been fired at the barracks of the elite presidential guard unit.

Burkina Faso's army earlier surrounded the barracks, the presidential palace and national radio in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Under a peace deal brokered last week, members of the presidential guard are supposed to disarm.

But the presidential guard said on that they will not give up their weapons under "shameful and violent" conditions.

"Any attempt of aggression against our regiment will result in a clear, clean and decisive response, as always," the presidential guard said.

In another show of force, the army arrested Djibril Bassole, a former high-ranking minister accused of collaborating with the mutinous soldiers, said Capt Ye.

He is accused of supporting General Gilbert Diendere, the military general who led the coup earlier this month. The two are also accused of seeking help from foreign forces.

Mr Bassole has denied the allegations, calling it a "demonisation campaign" against him.

Mr Bassole, a high-level diplomat, served under Blaise Compaore, who ruled Burkina Faso for nearly 30 years before being ousted in a popular uprising.

Mr Bassole is among 14 people whose assets have been frozen following the coup.

Coup leader Gen Diendere handed power back to the civilian transitional government last week, but tensions grew because his supporters in the elite presidential guard refuse to disarm.

Authorities said that presidential guard members found to have played significant roles in the coup earlier this month will face trial, while others will be reintegrated into the army.

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