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Guinean President survives attempt on his life

Guinea's democratically elected President survived an assassination attempt early yesterday when gunmen descended on his home, an attack that throws into doubt the political stability of this country with a history of coups and military rule.

President Alpha Condé later addressed the nation on state radio, saying his presidential guard "had fought heroically at 3.10am" when his home came under attack by unidentified commandos.

At least one member of his security detail was killed, several more were wounded and portions of his house were destroyed, said François Fall, a minister at the presidency.

President Condé, who was elected just seven months ago in a vote deemed to be Guinea's first free and fair election, called on the population to avoid acts of reprisal. "If your hand is in the hand of God, nothing can happen to you," he said. "Our enemies can try everything, but they will not stop the march of the Guinean people."

Mr Fall said the President was protected in an undisclosed location and it was too early to name who was behind the attack.