Prime Minister arrested by army in 'coup attempt'


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The Independent Online

The Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau was arrested by soldiers in an apparent coup yesterday, hours after a grenade attack on his home and two weeks before he was to take part in a presidential election.

The whereabouts of Carlos Gomes Jnr remained unknown a day after attacks rocked Bissau, the tiny country's capital. The body representing West African nations called Thursday's violence, weeks after similar events in nearby Mali, a "reprehensible coup attempt".

However, a communiqué from an unidentified military commander claimed the soldiers do not want to seize power but were instead trying to halt an invasion from Angolan troops.

Mr Gomes had been favoured to win the run-off vote on 29 April after his challenger, Kumba Yala, a former president who was overthrown in a coup in 2003, said he would boycott the poll because of irregularities in the first round of balloting.

The election is being held after Guinea-Bissau's President died in January from complications related to diabetes.