Heavy gunfire, soldiers on the streets in Burkina Faso capital

Heavy gunfire, soldiers on the streets in Burkina Faso capital Soldiers on the Street of Ougadougou in an earlier coup in Burkina Faso

Soldiers have been seen along the main avenue in Ouagadougou leading to the presidential palace and national television station.

Soldiers are on the streets and heavy gunfire has been heard near the main military camp and residential areas of Burkina Faso’s capital.

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A large blast also rang out on Friday near the presidential palace where soldiers took up positions.

Soldiers were seen along the main avenue leading to the presidential palace, administrative buildings and the national television station, which stopped broadcasting. Journalists said state television instead showed a blank screen saying “no video signal”.

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Several main roads in Ouagadougou were blocked by troops. A spokesman for the military government that seized power in January was unreachable.

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It was not clear yet if this was a coup attempt, but it bore the hallmarks of other power grabs that have swept across West and Central Africa over the past two years.

No public announcement about the motivation behind the troop movements in Ouagadougou was given.

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Ornella Moderan, a Sahel security analyst, said a lot of rumours were flowing on social media amid the confusion of what is happening.

“There has been mounting tensions among the society and the military, but it’s way too early to tell what is going on,” Moderan told Al Jazeera. “The situation is extremely complex. Burkina Faso is not confronting a security situation on its own, it’s affecting the whole region.”

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Reporting from Saint Louis in Senegal in West Africa, Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque said there was a sense of panic across the capital.

“All the streets leading to the presidential palace, the parliament, and the constitutional court are being manned by soldiers. People who have tried to approach these areas have been told to return and move away,” he said.

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