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Coup attempt in Sao Tome and Principe fails – Prime Minister

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According to Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada, a coup attempt failed on Thursday night in Sao Tome and Principe, a small Gulf of Guinea island nation regarded as a model of parliamentary democracy in Africa.

Trovoada said in a video authenticated and sent to AFP in Libreville by Justice Minister Ilsa Maria dos Santos Amado Vaz that four men were arrested and tried to attack the army headquarters, including the former president of the outgoing national assembly Delfim Neves and a former military officer who had already attempted a coup in 2009.

The government’s leader, who appears to be seated at a desk with tired features and wearing a T-shirt under a raincoat, was eager to “reassure” the population and “the international community.”

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The military was attacked in a barracks, he continued, adding that the coup attempt started at 00.40 and ended shortly after 6am.

Under the condition of anonymity, a resident of Sao Tome’s capital claimed that she had heard “automatic and heavier weapons fire, as well as detonations, for two hours inside the army headquarters.”

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