Skip to main content

6 killed in attack on Guinea-Bissau military barracks

From Umaro Djau, CNN
updated 5:06 AM EDT, Mon October 22, 2012
Guinea-Bissau soldiers walk along a street after gunmen raided an army barracks in the capital Bissau on October 21, 2012.
Guinea-Bissau soldiers walk along a street after gunmen raided an army barracks in the capital Bissau on October 21, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two attackers are captured and others remain at large, authorities say
  • The transitional government blames forces loyal to the former prime minister
  • Military commanders ousted the previous government in April
  • Coup and coup attempts have taken place repeatedly in Guinea-Bissau

(CNN) -- The transitional government of Guinea-Bissau said its forces killed six people amid an attack on the barracks of an elite military unit near the capital's airport.

The transitional authorities, which took power in the West African nation after military commanders overthrew the previous government in April, said they believed the attempt to seize control of the barracks on Saturday night was led by people loyal to the former prime minister Carlos Gomes Jr.

The government said the assault was a "premeditated action aiming at destabilizing the legal order and whose main aim is to create a political situation where an international force in Guinea-Bissau could be justified."

Six attackers were killed in the fighting at the Para-Commando barracks, two were captured and an unspecified number remain at large, the government said. It added that one government soldier was wounded.

Gomes Jr. and the former interim president Raimundo Pereira fled to Portugal after the generals ousted them in April on accusations they had agreed a "secret deal" to let Angolan troops into the country to attack the military.

The coup prompted international condemnation and calls for a return to civilian rule by the African Union, the United Nations and Western powers.

Guinea-Bissau suspended from African Union

The regional Economic Community of West African States brokered a deal to set up the current transitional government, which has until May to organize presidential and legislative elections.

The regional body agreed to deploy about 600 peacekeeping troops in Guinea-Bissau to monitor the transition and replace the Angolan soldiers that were in the country. Angola had said its military personnel were there to help reform the Guinea-Bissau armed and security forces.

Coups and coup attempts have taken place repeatedly in Guinea-Bissau since it won independence from Portugal in 1974. To date, no democratically elected president of the country has served a full five-year term.

Pereira became interim president after the January death of incumbent Malam Bacai Sanha after a long illness. Sanha had become president in September 2009 after the assassination of his predecessor, Joao Bernardo Vieira.

Guinea-Bissau is a small coastal nation of about 1.6 million people sandwiched between Senegal and Guinea.

TIME: Guinea-Bissau: How cocaine transformed a tiny nation

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT