News24

Burkina troops free rapist comrade

2011-03-28 22:39

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso soldiers freed on Monday a comrade jailed for the rape of a teenage girl after shooting in the air for around two hours and terrifying residents, a local official said.

Residents of the town of Fada N'Gourma, 220km east of the capital Ouagadougou, dropped to the floor and hid in their houses as the soldiers took to the streets, they said.

"Soldiers went to free from the civilian prison one of them who was locked up for the rape of a girl aged 14," a regional government source said.

In a similar incident involving the military, several soldiers in Ouagadougou last week streamed out of their barracks, fired in the air and looted stores to protest the conviction of five colleagues in a sex scandal.

The convicted men were freed after the five-hour protest.

In Fada N'Gourma on Monday, the soldiers "did not steal like their comrades in Ouagadougou but the shops closed," the government source said. The troops were from the 32nd Infantry Commando Regiment.

"Around 07:30-08:00, soldiers left the camp and started shooting in the air in the town with Kalashnikovs," a resident said.

"People lay down on the ground in their offices and houses. All activities stopped," he said, adding the shooting lasted about two hours.

"People have never seen that at Fada, shooting in broad daylight. People panicked," said another resident, Karim Lompo. "We all hid in the house, we did not know if it was going to start again or not."

The head of the army, General Dominique Djindjere, was summoned to meet President Blaise Compaore on Monday, officials said.