Togo president's brother attacked

2009-04-13 18:58
Lome - Soldiers attacked Kpatcha Gnassinge, brother of Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe, in an overnight raid on his house, but he escaped unharmed, witnesses said on Monday.

The troops overcame soldiers on guard duty and stormed and looted the family?s bedrooms, shooting inside and around the house, witnesses said.

"It was a heavily armed unit of the Rapid Intervention Force. They neutralised the soldiers who were watching over the house," one source close to the president's brother said.

"Mr Gnassingbe was there, but not in the rooms targeted by the attackers. They encircled the building and were firing in all directions for at least three hours," the source added.

Nobody was killed or injured but walls and some doors and windows had been damaged by bullets. Spent cartridge cases lay in the bedrooms and around the entrance to the house.

Senior officers of the Togolese Armed Forces declined to comment on the incident and the authorities in the small west African country have issued no statement.

A former defence minister between 2005 and 2007, Gnassingbe was elected the member of parliament for Kara, about 420km north of Lome, during legislative elections in October 2007.

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