Guinea-Bissau Launches Major Probe Into Failed Coup

Guinea-Bissau has launched a major investigation into a failed attempt to overthrow President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who survived a gun attack on Tuesday in the uprising that claimed 11 lives, according to the government.

“The government mourns … the loss of 11 valiant men during the attack. Eleven victims – soldiers and paramilitaries, four civilians including a top agriculture ministry official and his driver,” government spokesman Fernando Vaz said on Wednesday, who is also the West African country’s tourism minister.

Heavily armed men on Tuesday afternoon surrounded government buildings in the capital Bissau where Embalo and his prime minister were believed to be attending a cabinet meeting.

Embalo, 49, later told reporters that he had been unharmed during a five-hour gun battle, which he described as a plot to wipe out the government in Guinea-Bissau, one of Africa’s most unstable countries.

Guinea-Bissau’s capital appeared calm on Wednesday the day after Embalo survived the attack, as France joined condemnation for what has been called an attempted coup.

Life was slowly returning to the streets of Bissau as shops and banks reopened, according to AFP correspondents.

Soldiers were patrolling the streets, however, and also blocked access to the Palace of Government complex where the attack took place.

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