Coup Attempt Fails After Gunfire in Guinea-Bissau Capital

Regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), along with the UN, has condemned what it calls an "attempted coup" in the West African state of Guinea-Bissau, where heavy gunfire was heard near the seat of government.

President Umaro Cissoko Embalo, a former army general, was reportedly holding a cabinet meeting in the government palace when the shooting broke out.

The attack also comes on the heels of a spate of coups in the region in Burkina Faso and Mali

The president said the situation is now "under control" after an "attack on democracy." He said "many" members of the security forces were killed in the nearly five hour assault.

Guinea-Bissau has experienced four coup d'etats and more than a dozen attempted coups since independence from Portugal in 1974.

Guinea-Bissau has long suffered from official corruption, as well as the violence that comes with drug trafficking. Because of graft and lax law enforcement, the country is used as a transit point for cocaine on the way to Europe from South America, reports Voice of America.

InFocus

President Úmaro Sissoco Embaló.

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