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Burkina Faso detains 5 more soldiers accused in armory raid

25 January 2016, 12:07

Ouagadogou — Burkina Faso's army says it has detained five members of a disbanded unit loyal to the country's former president who are suspected of involvement in a raid on an armory. One member of the unit was killed in an exchange of gunfire near the border with Ghana, an army spokesman said Sunday.

Authorities already had 10 soldiers and one civilian in custody over their suspected roles in Friday's pre-dawn raid on the weapons warehouse outside Ouagadougou, which exacerbated security concerns one week after Islamic extremists killed 30 people when they attacked a cafe and hotel popular with foreigners in the city.

Capt. Aziz Ouedroaogo, an army spokesman, said troops were looking for seven more soldiers in connection with the raid and stopped six of them Sunday evening near the border with Ghana.

Ouedroago said one of them opened fire on troops and was shot and killed by government soldiers.

Officials have not specified how many weapons were seized during the armory raid, though they said some Kalashnikov rifles and anti-tank rocket launchers remain unaccounted for.

The arrested soldiers all come from the former presidential guard, which is loyal to former Blaise Compaore, the longtime president ousted in an October 2014 uprising.

The presidential guard was disbanded after staging a failed coup last September. Many of its 1,300 members were integrated into other units, though some remain on the run. Last month officials accused guard members of plotting to attack a military prison and free their former leader, who was arrested after the coup.

In a separate development, authorities on Saturday arrested Eddie Komboigo, the head of Compaore's political party, gendarmerie spokesman Guy Herve Ye said Sunday. Komboigo has also been accused of involvement in the September coup.

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- AP


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