Defence ministry says an attack on the presidential palace by mutinous forces has been put down.
Soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea’s capital have said in a short broadcast on state television that they have dissolved the constitution and the government in the West African state.
Unverified videos shared on social media on Sunday apparently showed President Alpha Conde being surrounded by soldiers. His whereabouts were unclear.
This followed earlier reports of heavy gunfire in Conakry near the presidential palace though it was unclear who was responsible.
Guinea’s defence ministry said that an attack by mutinous special forces on the presidential palace had been repelled, though it was not immediately clear who held power.
An unidentified soldier, draped in Guinea’s national flag and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers, said in the broadcast that they planned to form a transitional government and would give further details later.
The defence ministry said the attempted insurgency had been put down.
“The presidential guard, supported by the loyalist and republican defence and security forces, contained the threat and repelled the group of assailants,” it said in a statement.
“Security and combing operations are continuing to restore order and peace.”
Reports of gunfire
Earlier on Sunday, a military source told Reuters news agency the bridge connecting the rest of the city to the Kaloum neighbourhood, which houses most ministries and the presidential palace, had been sealed off and many soldiers were posted around the palace.
A military source said the gunfire involved angry members of the special forces, an elite army corps. The source did not say what caused the anger.
Another military source said the only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum neighbourhood, which houses most of the ministries and the presidential palace, had been sealed off and many soldiers, some heavily armed, were posted around the palace.
Three witnesses told Reuters they saw two civilians with gunshot wounds.
“I see groups of soldiers heading towards the presidency. There has been a lot of shooting,” said Ousmane Camara, a resident of Kaloum.
Footage shared on social media showed heavy gunfire ringing out over the city, and vehicles full of soldiers approaching the central bank, close to the palace.
Two convoys of armoured vehicles and pick-up trucks were seen heading towards Conakry Autonomous Port, also near the palace. The convoy was accompanied by a white vehicle that appeared to be an ambulance.
Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque, reporting from Dakar in neighbouring Senegal, said troops had been deployed in downtown Conakry and ordered residents over loudspeakers to remain indoors.
Haque said the area near the Hotel Kaloum was the scene of the shooting and President Conde was reportedly nearby.
“This comes a week after the national parliament voted an increase in budget for the presidency and parliamentarians, but a substantial decrease for those working in the security services like the police and the military.”