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Burkina army surrounds coup plotters barracks

A major airport is shut in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou as soldiers lock down an area around the barracks of an elite unit involved in a short-lived coup after they refused to disarm.

An unnamed senior official told AFP news agency said on Tuesday that Ouagadougou’s international flights were cancelled as army surrounded the camp of Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) responsible for the September 17 coup.

The source added that the airport would remain shut until further notice.

In a statement, army chief of staff General Pingrenoma urged the population to avoid the Ouaga 2000 district where the camp is located for security reasons.

Interim president Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida were arrested by the elite presidential guard on September 16. General Gilbert Diendere was quick to take power, but he resigned a week later under pressure from the West African regional bloc, Burkina Faso’s military and protesting citizens.

Burkina Faso’s interim President Michel Kafando delivers a statement to the press at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital, Ouagadougou, September 23, 2015. (AFP photo)

 

Kafando , who was formally reinstated last Wednesday, recently issued a decree disbanding the presidential guard.

Furthermore, judicial authorities in Burkina Faso froze he assets of General Diendere and 13 others believed to have had a role in the coup.

A protester cuts a branch to be burnt as he and others demonstrate against the recent coup in Burkina Faso’s capital city of Ouagadougou, September 22, 2015. (AP photo)

The coup took place just weeks before October 11, the initial date set for general elections. The vote has been postponed indefinitely.

According to the Burkinabe government, at least 11 people died and 271 were wounded in the violence that ensued the coup.

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