Six die in army barracks gun battle

2012-10-21 15:57


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Bissau - Gunmen raided a Guinea-Bissau army barracks housing an elite unit near the capital's airport on Sunday, sparking a gunbattle that left at least six people dead, sources said.

The pre-dawn attack is certain to add to tensions in the deeply troubled west African country, where a junta seized power in a coup in April.

Unidentified armed men launched the assault very early on Sunday, but soldiers fought off the attack after about an hour of fighting, forcing the assailants to flee, witnesses said.

A journalist at the scene said he saw the bodies of five attackers while a guard at the barracks was also killed.

A military source confirmed the attack but would not say whether there had been any casualties among the elite "red beret" ground force unit targeted in the raid.

Army vehicles were criss-crossing the capital in the hours after the raid.

Since independence from Portugal in 1974, the army and state in the chronically unstable nation of 1.6 million people have remained in constant conflict, and no president has ever completed a full term in office.

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