Banjul, Dec 30 (IANS) At least five military officers were killed and several others injured seriously in an attempted coup that aimed to overthrow Gambia President Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the country since 1994.
Lt. Col. Lamin Sanneh, the ring leader, is reported to have sustained serious injuries during the gun fight, according to Xinhua.
Five armed men were reported to have been killed while six others have been captured. One of the attackers is reported to have sustained serious injuries.
The attacks took place at State House and Denton Bridge, military and senior government officials said.
One shootout took place on the outskirts of Banjul at Denton Bridge, the country’s main entrance to the capital.
Soldiers who sustained serious injuries are being treated at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
Vehicles were not being allowed to enter the capital.
Heavy checkpoints have been mounted at the entrance of the capital, and commercial vehicles and other transport were not being allowed entry.
According to an earlier Xinhua report, several military officers were arrested after a foiled military coup in the Gambian capital.
“The State House was attacked by the disloyal forces to the state between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.,” a military source, who declined to be named, told Xinhua.
“Residents outside the capital were not allowed entry and both commuters and commercial vehicles ordered to return, while those in the capital were also asked to close shops and offices for security reasons,” the sources said.
President Yahya Jammeh is currently out of the country on a four-day working visit.
He will run for his fifth presidential term in 2016.
President Jammeh came to power in a military coup in 1994.