Niger government foils attempted coup

Mohamed Bazoum, candidate of the ruling Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, speaks after voting at a polling station in Niamey, Niger, Feb. 21, 2021. Voting for the second round of Niger's presidential election began on Sunday as more than 7.4 million Nigeriens are expected at polling stations to choose the successor of the outgoing president Mahamadou Issoufou. (Xinhua)

An attempted coup was foiled early Wednesday morning in Niamey, the capital of Niger, government spokesperson Zakaria Abdourahaman said in a press release on Wednesday afternoon.

“Several people in connection with this coup attempt have already been arrested and others actively searched,” Abdourahaman said.

According to him, investigations are being conducted to identify and hunt down the culprits and their accomplices.

“The government condemns this cowardly and retrograde attack aiming to endanger the democracy and the rule of law to which our country is resolutely committed,” he said.

On behalf of the government, he reassured that the situation is totally under control, and the population can go about their daily lives normally.

Abdourahaman also congratulated the presidential guard and the defense and security forces for their prompt reaction, which proved their loyalty and their fidelity to the Republic.

Abdourahaman did not reveal if the attempted coup had caused any casualties or the reasons behind the attempted coup.

Heavy gunfire was heard at around 3 am local time (2 a.m. GMT) Wednesday near the Nigerien presidential palace in Niamey. According to the residents nearby, the gunfire lasted for about 30 minutes.

The attempted coup came two days before the president-elect Mohamed Bazoum are supposed to take over power from outgoing president Mahamadou Issoufou, who served two presidential terms. Enditem

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