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Guinean colonel seizes control of state TV, declares gov’t dissolved

Members of the Guinean armed forces drive through the central neighborhood of Kaloum in Conakry on September 5, 2021, after sustained gunfire was heard. (Cellou Binani/AFP)
Members of the Guinean armed forces drive through the central neighborhood of Kaloum in Conakry on September 5, 2021, after sustained gunfire was heard. (Cellou Binani/AFP)

CONAKRY, Guinea — A Guinean army colonel seizes control of state television and declares that President Alpha Conde’s government has been dissolved and the West African nation’s borders closed, an announcement that comes after hours of heavy gunfire erupted near the presidential palace.

The dramatic developments today bear all the hallmarks of a West African coup d’etat. After seizing the airwaves, the mutinous soldiers vow to restore democracy and give themselves a name: The National Committee of Gathering and Development.

Col. Mamadi Doumbouya sits draped in a Guinean flag with a half dozen other soldiers in uniform alongside him as he reads the statement, vowing: “The duty of a soldier is to save the country.”

He makes no mention of Conde’s whereabouts and it is not immediately known where the 83-year-old leader is after today’s attack. Conde’s popularity has plummeted since he sought a third term last year, saying that term limits did not apply to him.

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