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Gabon thwarts military coup attempt in President’s absence

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LIBREVILLE – Gabon foiled an attempted military coup on Monday, arresting several plotters just hours after they took over state radio in a bid to end 50 years of rule by President Ali Bongo’s family.

In a radio message at 4:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, who described himself as an officer in the Republican Guard, said Bongo’s New Year’s Eve address from Morocco, where he is recovering from a stroke, “reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office”.

Outside the radio station, loyalist soldiers fired teargas to disperse about 300 people who had come out into the streets to support the coup attempt.

Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told Reuters that four of the five officers involved were arrested in the capital Libreville. A fifth officer fled and is being pursued, he said.

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