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Guinea coup attempt: Soldiers claim to seize power, President Alpha Condé arrested

Guinea coup attempt: Soldiers claim to seize power, President Alpha Condé arrested

Conakry, Guinea: A Guinean army colonel seized control of state television on Sunday and declared that President Alpha Conde's government had been dissolved in the West African nation, an announcement that came after hours of heavy gunfire near the presidential palace.

Guinean special forces have also imposed an indefinite curfew in the poor west African country.

"We have decided, after having taken the president, to dissolve the constitution," said a uniformed officer flanked by soldiers toting assault rifles in a video sent to AFP.

The officer also said that Guinea's land and air borders had been shut and the government dissolved.

Later Sunday, the junta announced a nationwide curfew "until further notice", saying it would convene Conde's cabinet ministers at 11:00 am (1100 GMT) Monday.

"Any refusal to attend will be considered a rebellion," the statement added.

The country's governors and other top administrators will be replaced by the military, the statement said.

The nation of some 13 million people -- one of the world's poorest countries despite boasting significant mineral resources -- has long been beset by political instability.

Earlier on Sunday, residents of the capital Conakry's Kaloum district, the government quarter, had reported hearing heavy gunfire.

The head of Guinea's military special forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, appeared on public television, draped in the national flag, saying government "mismanagement" prompted the coup.

"We are no longer going to entrust politics to one man, we are going to entrust politics to the people," Doumbouya said.

"Guinea is beautiful. We don't need to rape Guinea anymore, we just need to make love to her," he added.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the coup in a tweet and called for Conde's immediate release.

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