Burkina Faso: Shooting in Ouagadougou the day after Damiba’s dismissal

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OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Shots rang out in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou on Saturday and heavily armed security forces patrolled the city center the day after junta leader Paul-Henri Damiba was sacked in the second putsch in less than a year in the country.

The whereabouts of Paul-Henri Damiba and Captain Ibrahim Traoré, placed at the head of the junta on Friday by the group of officers who already led the January 24 coup, said that he was on a French military base, which was denied by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs according to which France is in no way involved in the “ongoing events”.

“The camp where the French forces are located has never hosted Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, nor has our embassy,” said a press release from the Quai d’Orsay.

Ibrahim Traoré announced on television on Friday the dissolution of the government and the Constitution, as well as the closure of the country’s borders until further notice.

Intense shootings had resounded Friday morning in the capital coming from the main military camp of the city and from certain residential districts,

On Saturday, when calm seemed to have returned to Ouagadougou, the shooting and the appearance of the special forces convoy prompted traders to lower the curtain and passers-by to run for cover.

“The situation remains tense in Ouagadougou. It is recommended to limit travel to what is strictly necessary, to observe an attitude of caution and reserve, and to avoid crowds,” the French embassy said.

(Report Thiam Ndiaga, French version Marc Angrand)

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