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Sierra Leone: Information Minister Calls Attacks In Capital An Unsuccessful Coup Attempt

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The government of Sierra Leone announced on Tuesday that Sunday’s attacks on multiple locations in the country’s capital, Freetown, were an unsuccessful attempt to topple the government, primarily carried out by former President Ernest Bai Koroma’s bodyguards.

The former president could not be directly connected to the plot, according to the country’s information minister Chernor Bah and chief of staff Lt. General Patrick Lavahun, who both stated at a press conference that investigations were still underway.

“The incident was a failed attempted coup. The intention was to illegally subvert and overthrow a democratically elected government. The attempt failed, and plenty of the leaders are either in police custody or on the run. We will try to capture them and bring them to the full force of the laws of Sierra Leone,” said Bah.

Authorities in the West African nation said that gunmen stormed military barracks, a prison, and other locations on Sunday, freeing roughly 2,200 prisoners and leaving over 20 people dead. On Monday, everything had returned to normal.

In a statement released on Sunday, Koroma denounced the assaults, the murder of the security guard stationed at his home, and alleged that the other “whisked away to an unknown location”.

Minister Bah announced at a press conference that thirteen military officers and one civilian had been taken into custody as a result of the incident. He also mentioned that more than twenty people, including two captains and five army majors, were on a wanted list as a result of the attacks.

Tension has been high in Sierra Leone ever since Bio was re-elected in June. The country is still recuperating from a civil war that claimed over 50,000 lives between 1991 and 2002.

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