Guinea-Bissau: Many Feared Dead After Coup Attempt
The president of Guinea-Bissau has said he survived a coup attempt after being under heavy gunfire for five hours. President Umaro Cissoko Embaló said the attackers tried to kill him and his entire cabinet at the government palace.
He said many others had been killed in the fighting on both sides. Local media reported at least six deaths,four attackers and two guards. The attackers were linked to drug trafficking in the country, he said.
Gunfire erupted near government buildings in the capital of the West African nation, where the president was attending a cabinet meeting. A security source, who did not want to be identified, said that gunmen in civilian clothes had opened fire and a police officer had been killed. Some initial reports also said that the cabinet had been captured. Mr Embaló, however, said the attackers failed to break into the cabinet meeting. “What I can guarantee is that the situation is under control,” he said.
Guinea-Bissau, with a population of just under two million people, is one of the poorest countries in the world. The former Portuguese colony has seen nine coups or attempted coups since 1980.