Page last updated at 23:37 GMT, Sunday, 23 November 2008

G-Bissau leader survives attack


The president of Guinea-Bissau has survived a gun attack on his home by mutinous soldiers.

Joao Bernardo Vieira escaped unharmed in the overnight attack, which the BBC's West Africa correspondent says appears to be a failed coup.

The soldiers stormed Mr Vieira's compound during a three-hour battle, in which one presidential guard died.

Guinea-Bissau, which has a history of military coups, recently held parliamentary elections.

AU warning

Mr Vieira told a televised news conference later on Sunday that the soldiers stormed his compound intending to "liquidate" him.

Assuring people the situation was "under control", the president said: "No-one has the right to massacre the people of Guinea-Bissau in order to steal power by means of the gun."

Guinea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo Vieira casts his vote on 16 November
President Vieira has ruled intermittently since 1980

Guinea-Bissau's interior ministry said one soldier loyal to the president had been killed in the assault, and several other guards had been wounded.

The African Union warned against any "attempt to seize power by force".

AU spokesman El-Ghassim Wane told French radio that the body was "very concerned about the situation", stressing that it rejected "all unlawful change of government".

Describing the situation as "very serious", the United Nations representative in Guinea-Bissau, Shola Omeregie, confirmed there had been a military attack on the president's home.

According to the National Electoral Commission, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) won 67 of the 100 National Assembly seats.

The PAIGC ruled Guinea-Bissau as a one-party state for a quarter century after independence in 1974.

The party allied to the president, the Republican Party for Independence and Development (PRID), won just three seats in the ballot, which was held last weekend.

The leader of the party which officially finished second with 28 seats contested the result.

Koumba Yala, leader of the Social Renewal Party (PRS) and a former president of Guinea-Bissau, said he would "never accept fabricated results".

His party has strong support in the military, correspondents say.

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