Burkina Faso’s self-declared leader says the man he ousted a day ago in a coup is plotting a counter-attack.

Col. Ibrahim Traoré also accused the French army if harbouring Lt Col Paul-Henri Damiba at one of its bases – but France denies any involvement.

Gunshots were heard in Burkina Faso’s capital city Ouagadougou on Saturday and helicopters have circled overhead.

Protesters started a fire outside the French embassy – an attack condemned “with the greatest firmness” by Paris.

The French foreign ministry told newmen that the security of its compatriots was the greatest priority, adding that a crisis centre had been opened in Ouagadougou.
In the country’s second city, Bobo-Dioulasso, the gate of the French Institute was also reportedly set ablaze by protesters.

Friday’s apparent takeover had been announced on national TV and was the second time this year that the country’s army had seized power.

On both occasions the coup leaders said they had to step in because national security was so dire.

Burkina Faso controls as little as 60% of its territory, experts say, and Islamist violence is worsening. Since 2020 more than a million people have been displaced in the country due to the violence.

Credit: BBC.

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