Military seizes power in Burkina Faso

Published September 18, 2015
Protests erupted in several places in the former French colony. In the second city of Bobo-Dioulasso, shops were closed and soldiers remained in their barracks, residents said. — REUTERS/File
Protests erupted in several places in the former French colony. In the second city of Bobo-Dioulasso, shops were closed and soldiers remained in their barracks, residents said. — REUTERS/File

OUAGADOUGOU: At least one person died and scores more were injured on Thursday in protests in Burkina Faso after a coup led by a close ally of toppled strongman Blaise Compaore.

The latest unrest to hit the west African nation came just weeks ahead of presidential and legislative elections, slated for October 11, aimed at restoring democracy after Compaore was forced out late last year, ending 27 years of iron-fisted rule.

Doctors at the main hospital in the capital Ouagadougou said a man died of injuries sustained on Wednesday when he was shot in coup-linked violence, and that at least 60 others had been admitted for various injuries.

Protests erupted in several places in the former French colony. In the second city of Bobo-Dioulasso, shops were closed and soldiers remained in their barracks, residents said.

“There are crowds on the streets,” a taxi driver said, adding that the home of a member of Compaore’s party had been torched.

Angry residents erected barricades in other towns and cities after presidential guard members loyal to Compaore burst into a cabinet meeting on Wednesday and seized acting president Michel Kafando, prime minister Isaac Zida, and two ministers.

Zida was an officer in Compaore’s powerful Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) before he toppled his old boss after days of street protests in October 2014.—AFP

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2015

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