Burkina airport shut as troops trap plotters

2015-09-29 18:00
A man demonstrates near the presidential palace after soldiers arrested Burkina Faso’s transitional president and prime minister in Ouagadougou. (Theo Renaut, AP)

A man demonstrates near the presidential palace after soldiers arrested Burkina Faso’s transitional president and prime minister in Ouagadougou. (Theo Renaut, AP)

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Ouagadougou - Ougadougou airport was shut down on Tuesday, an airport official told AFP, as Burkina troops locked down the area around the barracks of an elite unit behind a short-lived coup after they failed to disarm.

All flights were cancelled and the airport near the city centre would remain shut until further notice, the source told AFP.

The news came several hours after the army staged a lockdown in the Ouaga 2000 neighbourhood around the barracks of the presidential guard (RSP) responsible for the September 17 coup.

Although the unit abandoned its coup last week and was formally dissolved by the cabinet on Friday, the guards have failed to lay down their weapons and remained inside their barracks, prompting a new stand-off with the government.

In a sign of escalating tensions, troops on Tuesday morning deployed all around the barracks with armoured cars and pick-up trucks, while troops equipped with machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades were stationed at several intersections, an AFP correspondent said.

All traffic was banned from the area and Chief of Staff General Pingrenoma Zagre urged residents to steer clear of the neighbourhood "for security reasons".

Read more on:    burkina faso  |  west africa

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