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POST TIME: 8 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Gabon foils coup attempt by army rebels: Officials
AFP, Libreville

Gabon foils coup attempt by army rebels: Officials

A group of soldiers sought to take power in Gabon yesterday while the country's ailing president was abroad, but the government declared the bid had failed and the rebels had been arrested.

Soldiers burst into state radio offices at dawn and called on the public to "rise up", an appeal made as President Ali Bongo remained in Morocco after suffering a stroke last year.

Shots were heard around state broadcasting headquarters in Libreville, capital of the oil-rich West African nation, at about the same time as the message was read at 6:30 am (0530 GMT).

But within a few hours, government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told AFP: "Calm has returned, the situation is under control."

Of the five who entered the radio station, "four have been arrested and one is on the run," according to Mapangou.