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Commander of the national guard arrested following clashes in Guinea-Bissau

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The Guinea-Bissau National Guard commander, Colonel Vitor Tchongo, and several others from this unit were reportedly arrested on Friday morning in the capital Bissau by military police, military sources said.

According to the sources, these individuals were apprehended following armed clashes between members of the National Guard and the Presidential Palace Battalion.

A press release from the General Staff of the Armed Forces said that at 8 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Thursday, a group of soldiers, led by their commander Colonel Vitor Tchongo, released individuals who were being questioned at the judicial police building.

Residents in Bissau said they heard gunfire from automatic weapons and the shooting originated from the vicinity of the barracks in the Luanda district and other National Guard installations. The gunfire ceased around 9:00 a.m. on Friday in the capital.

These incidents occurred during the absence of President Umaro Sissoco Embalo and Chief of General Staff of the armed forces Biague Na Ntan, who are currently out of the country.

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