President of Burkina Faso Cabore “detained” by rebel soldiers News

Reports say Cabore’s detention came after troops staged riots at several army barracks and gunfire was heard near the president’s residence.

Burkina Faso President Roh Marc Christian Cabore has been detained by rebel soldiers, according to news reports citing security officials.

Monday’s reports came a day after soldiers staged riots in several army barracks, sparking fears of a coup in the conflict-stricken country. Later on Sunday, heavy gunfire was heard near Cabore’s residence in the capital, Ouagadougou.

On Monday morning, several bulletproof armored vehicles of the presidential fleet could be seen near the residence. One was splattered with blood.

Two security sources and a West African diplomat told Reuters that Cabore was detained in a military camp. There was no immediate comment from the government, which on Sunday denied a coup was under way.

“We have just passed the military base where Cabore is said to be currently closed,” Ouagadougou journalist Henry Wilkins said on Monday.

“Traffic is running normally, but there are usually a large number of soldiers on the streets around the presidential palace.

Video shows bloodied, bullet-ridden vehicles from Burkina Faso's presidential fleetVideo shows a bloodied vehicle with bullets from the presidential fleet of Burkina Faso [Reuters]

The AFP news agency also reported that the president had been arrested along with other government officials.

“President Cabore, the head of parliament, and the ministers are practically in the hands of the soldiers,” at the Sangule Lamizana barracks in the capital, two security officials said.

Al Jazeera’s Nicholas Hake, who reported in detail on Burkina Faso, said the rebel troops had not yet issued a statement.

“What we do know is that one night a helicopter was hovering over the palace and just above President Cabore’s private house,” he said from the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

“There have been talks all day between the rebels and the government. What the rebels told an Al Jazeera journalist on Sunday was that they had six demands.

“They said that if their demands were not met, they would take responsibility and arrest the president, and it seems that this is happening now.”

More to comeā€¦

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