An attempted military coup in The Gambia was foiled early Tuesday, while President Yahya Jammeh was in France on a visit, military and diplomatic sources said.
“Members of the Gambian armed forces have been involved in serious (gunfire) around 3:00 am. They wanted to overthrow the regime,” a military source told AFP, while a Western diplomat said that presidential guard troops were among forces who attacked Jammeh’s palace.
Jammeh seized power in a military coup 20 years ago and despite transforming himself into an elected president, he has been ruling the country like a dictator.
He has stifled dissent, incurring increased criticisms from abroad.
In recent years, Jammeh has frequently reshuffled senior military and civilian officials, a move that prevented individuals from becoming too powerful but stoked instability.
Banks and other offices remained closed on Tuesday, residents said. State radio played traditional kora music and did not refer to the incident.
There was no official confirmation of the reports on Twitter and media of an attempted coup