Heavy gunfire was heard near the presidential palace in Guinea’s capital Conakry on Sunday morning, while convoys of armoured vehicles and trucks carrying soldiers patrolled the streets, a Reuters witness said and videos shared on social media showed.
A military source said the only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum neighbourhood, which houses most of the ministries and the presidential palace, had been sealed off and many soldiers, some heavily armed, were posted around the palace.
There have been reports of gunfire and unrest in Conakry. Australians in Guinea are advised to stay somewhere safe; avoid unnecessary outings; review personal security plans; monitor their surroundings closely; and follow local media and Canadian, UK and US Embassy updates.
A senior government official said President Alpha Conde was unharmed but gave no further details. A witness told Reuters he saw a civilian with gunshot wounds.
Footage shared on social media, which Reuters was not immediately able to verify, showed heavy gunfire ringing out over the city, and vehicles full of soldiers approaching the central bank, close to the palace.
A Reuters reporter saw two convoys of armoured vehicles and pick-up trucks heading towards Conakry Autonomous Port, also near the palace. The convoy was accompanied by a white vehicle that appeared to be an ambulance.
Guinea has witnessed sustained economic growth during Conde’s decade in power thanks to its bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamond wealth, but few of its citizens have seen the benefits.
In October the 83-year-old won a third term in office in an election marked by violent protests in which dozens of people were killed.