Protests rock Ouagadougou as Compaore’s loyalists seized power

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Presidential guard officers in Burkina Faso have seized power in a coup, with reports of more than 10 deaths amid protests in the capital, Ouagadougou.

A close ally of former President Blaise Compaore has been named the country’s new leader, state television reports.

French President Francois Hollande condemned the coup in the former French colony.

Those killed were shot dead by presidential guard forces in the capital, a civil society group said.

The claim by the influential Balai Citoyen group could not be independently verified.

Other reports said protesters had been assaulted and detained.

Gen Diendere has dissolved the interim government
Gen Diendere has dissolved the interim government

The coup leaders have imposed a night-time curfew across the West African state, and have ordered the closure of land and air borders, AFP news agency reports.

The headquarters of Compaore’s Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party were ransacked in Ouagadougou as news of the coup spread, it adds.

Hollande called for the immediate release of interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida, who were detained at a cabinet meeting in the president palace on Wednesday.

Their transitional authority was due to hand power to a new government after elections on 11 October.

Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising last year after 27 years in power, and is currently in exile.

Protesters
Protesters

He was accused of committing widespread abuses, and trying to change the constitution to extend his term in office.

Some of his key allies had been barred from contesting the election.

A statement issued by the coup leaders said the West African state would be led by Gen Gilbert Diendere, Compaore’s former chief-of-staff.

An earlier announcement on state television said wide-ranging talks would be held to form a new interim government that would organise “peaceful and inclusive elections”.

Transitional parliamentary speaker Cheriff Sy said the move was “clearly a coup” adding that the presidential guard had “sequestrated” the interim government, and he urged people to protest on the streets.

“We are in a resistance situation against adversity,” My Sy added.

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