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Burkina Faso military seizes power

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The military in Burkina Faso has said it has seized power and overthrown president Roch Kaboré.

The announcement was made on state television by an army officer, who cited the deteriorating security situation for the military takeover.

Kaboré had faced growing discontent over his failure to stem an Islamist insurgency.

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His whereabouts are unclear, but the officer said that all those detained were in a secure location.

The coup comes a day after troops seized barracks, and gunshots were heard in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Earlier, the ruling People’s Movement for Progress party said that both Kaboré and a government minister had survived an assassination attempt.

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On Sunday, mutinying troops demanded the sacking of military chiefs and more resources to fight militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group and al-Qaeda.

The army statement said Kaboré had failed to unite the nation and to deal effectively with the security crisis which “threatens the very foundations of our nation”.

The statement was issued in the name of a group not heard of previously, the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration or MPSR, its French acronym.

Although read out by another officer, the statement was signed by Lt-Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who is believed to be the coup leader and a senior commander with years of experience fighting the Islamist militants.

The statement said that parliament and the government had been dissolved and the constitution suspended but promised a “return to constitutional order” within a “reasonable time”.

Earlier, the news of his detention was received with cheers and celebrations in Ouagadougou, reports the BBC’s senior Africa correspondent Anne Soy.— BBC

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