Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 16:17 UK

Troops resume shooting in Guinea

File photo of soldiers in Conakry
Guinean troops have long been demanding back pay

Mutinous troops in Guinea have blocked off the administrative district of the capital, Conakry, in a continuing dispute over army pay and conditions.

The soldiers, who have been shooting at locations across the city, have said they are now demanding the dismissal of top-ranking army officers.

The unrest began on Monday as soldiers demanded pay dating back eight years.

Protests have carried on, despite concessions from the government earlier in the week.

On Thursday, the soldiers set up roadblocks at the entrance to the administrative district, which houses the presidency, the army headquarters and some embassies.

Some shops were closed and residents were keeping off the streets as troops fired off rounds into the air, the BBC's Alhassan Sillah reports from Guinea.

Late on Wednesday, some soldiers forced their way on to an airport runway, preventing a US military plane from landing.

At least two commercial airlines also had to cancel flights before the soldiers returned to their barracks.


Soldiers from the Alpha Yaya Diallo barracks near the airport took the deputy head of the army captive at their base on Monday.

The soldiers went on the rampage, looting shops and leaving at least one person dead.

Shots were also heard near two inland barracks.

On Tuesday, President Lansana Conte fired the defence minister in a concession to the soldiers.

Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare then announced that troops would receive GNF5m ($1,140), and an increase in army rice subsidies in an effort to stop the unrest.

He has also asked the opposition to help him name a consensus government.

But our correspondent says the concessions do not appear to have appeased the troops.

Soldiers say that some of them have not received any pay since 1996.

President Conte, who took power in a coup in 1984, fought off a similar revolt and general strike last year.


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