Demonstrators in Burkina Faso's capital set the exterior walls of the French embassy ablaze, October 1, 2022, in violence triggered by a political coup.
Gunshots rang out Saturday in Burkina Faso's capital and soldiers deployed in the streets as tensions lingered a day after military officers overthrew the man who had seized power in a coup only nine months earlier in the West African nation.
The whereabouts of ousted interim President Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba remained unknown, and his opponents accused him of seeking refuge at a French military base. France vehemently denied that it had anything to do with the developments in Burkina Faso, saying it never hosted Damiba in the military camp nor the embassy.
Capt. Ibrahim Traore, who was named in charge after the Friday evening coup was announced on state television, said in his first interview that he and his men did not seek to harm Damiba.
“If we wanted, we would take him within five minutes of fighting and maybe he would be dead, the president. But we don’t want this catastrophe,” Traore told Voice of America. “We don’t want to harm him, because we don’t have any personal problem with him. We’re fighting for Burkina Faso.”
Roads remained blocked off in Ouagadougou, the capital, where a helicopter could be heard flying overhead. An internal security analysis for the European Union seen by The Associated Press said there was “abnormal military movement” in the city.
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