Burkina Faso army hunts remaining putschists after barracks raid
Burkina troops were on Wednesday searching Ouagadougou to find members of an elite unit behind a short-lived coup a day after a raid on their barracks, an AFP correspondent said.
Many soldiers could be seen on the streets of the capital’s Ouaga 2000 district, where the presidency and the barracks of the presidential guard, the RSP, which staged the coup on September 17 are located.
“We are looking for members (of the RSP). Some of them are hiding,” one of the soldiers told AFP, while refusing access to the neighbourhood.
On Tuesday evening, the army launched an assault on the guards’ barracks after the putschists, who are loyal to deposed strongman Blaise Compaore, refused to disarm despite a peace deal mediated by regional powers.
Heavy gunfire could be heard as troops fired artillery against the barracks, coup leader General Gilbert Diendere told AFP, saying there were likely “many deaths and injuries”.
Diendere was not inside the building, and by Wednesday morning, it was still not clear how many people inside had been killed or wounded.
He said there were families inside the building and a clinic inside the barracks.
But the army’s Chief of Staff General Pingrenoma Zagre said the camp was largely empty at the time of the assault.
On Wednesday morning, marksmen could be seen in position, their weapons pointed towards areas where guards could have taken refuge.
Situated in the south of the city, Ouaga 2000 is a new district which is still under construction where government ministries and upscale hotels for businessmen dot the sandy terrain.