Guinea arrests 100 soldiers in connection with attempted assassination of leader

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Guinea's military government has said that it arrested about 100 soldiers, as it investigates the attempted assassination of military ruler Moussa Dadis Camara.

File photograph of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara.

According to state officials, the detained soldiers are allies of presidential guard chief Lieutenant Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite, who is suspected of being behind last Thursday's shooting.

Diakite, who also goes under the name of "Toumba," is still at large; a reward worth 200 million Guinean francs or about US$40,000 was reportedly offered for information leading to his capture.

Meanwhile, a top Guinean military official has made his first public appearance since taking over government affairs while Camara recovers from head wounds in a Moroccan hospital.

General Sekouba Konate, Guinea's defence minister, appeared on state television on Wednesday meeting with soldiers, and urging them to be disciplined and united. There are fears in Guinea that a power struggle may break out while Camara recovers.

Camara's medical condition remains unclear, although government officials say he is doing well.

On Wednesday, the government suspended crisis talks with opposition groups until Camara returns home. One opposition leader accused the government of withdrawing from the talks to stay in power longer. The opposition has called for Camara and other military leaders to step down. Before the December 3 shooting, however, the junta had said Camara must be part of any transitional government.

Camara was apparently shot during an argument with Diakite over who should take responsibility for the killing of dozens of opposition protesters in Guinea's capital, Conakry, on September 28.


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