Several hours after another coup scare in Burkina Faso, the government has yet to provide details.
On Friday morning, heavy gunfire was heard near the main military camp and residential areas of the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou. A large blast also rang out near the presidential palace.
Several roads in the capital have been cordoned off by officials in uniform and the national television cut off.
Although the whereabouts of former coup leader turned president, Paul Damiba, was not immediately known, a statement from his government on Facebook urged people to remain calm, Al Jazeera reported.
“Negotiations are underway to bring back calm and serenity,” Al Jazeera quoted a statement attributed to the presidency’s spokesperson. “The enemy attacking our country only wants division between Burkinabes.”
Burkina Faso, in January, experienced a coup that brought Mr Damiba to power.
There are suspicions that Friday’s incident could be a counter-coup as the shootings occurred on the eve of a demonstration in Bobo-Dioulasso – the country’s second-largest city. The protesters are calling for the departure of Mr Damiba.
Two days ago, Burkina Faso’s government announced that at least 11 soldiers were killed and 50 civilians were missing after fighters attacked a 150-vehicle military-escorted convoy taking supplies to a northern town.
In a statement on Tuesday, the government said the assault took place on Monday in the commune of Gaskinde in Soum province, where armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) have escalated attacks and seized territory since 2015.
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