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Soldiers seen outside Burkina Faso state TV after mutinies

Hooded soldiers took up positions outside Burkina Faso's state TV in the capital Ouagadougou on Monday, an AFP journalist witnessed, a day after mutinies by troops prompted fears of a coup.

A man crosses through burning barricades in the central avenues in Ouagadougou where group of young demonstrators supporting the role of the army protested against President Marc Christian Kabore on January 23, 2022. – Soldiers mutinied on Sunday in several barracks in Burkina Faso to demand the departure of army chiefs and “more suitable means” to fight against the jihadists who have struck this country since 2015. (Photo by OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT / AFP)

Hooded soldiers took up positions outside Burkina Faso’s state TV in the capital Ouagadougou on Monday, an AFP journalist witnessed, a day after mutinies by troops prompted fears of a coup.

It was not immediately clear if the troops outside national broadcaster RTB were from the mutineers or had been sent in by the government of the volatile West African state.

Soldiers at several army bases across the country rebelled on Sunday, demanding the sacking of the country’s military top brass and more resources for the battle against Islamist insurgents.

Shots were also heard late Sunday near the private residence of President Roch Marc Kabore in the capital and witnesses reported seeing a helicopter above it.

The situation was tense and confused in the capital on Monday, where mobile internet had been cut since Sunday, making it difficult to verify rumours of a coup in progress.

Demonstrators protesting over the government’s handling of the jihadist threat set fire to the headquarters of the ruling party at the weekend.

The government swiftly denied rumours of a putsch and a list of demands presented by the rebellious troops made no mention of trying to oust Kabore.