- Heavily armed military men reportedly stormed into Guinea-Bissau's President João Bernardo Vieira's premises after midnight, killing a guard and wounding several others in an attempted coup, a top government official said.
Government said the President and his family were not unharmed during an attack as guards engaged in a three-hour battle to push the military men back.
President Vieira said the attack was meant for his assassination, saying no one had a right to forcefully engage in such evil acts to 'illegally' seize power. "These people attacked my residence with a single objective, to physically liquidate me," he said.
The current turmoil adds to tensions over pressure to stem the flow of cocaine through the country, which has become an international drugs hub, according to reports.
In parliamentary elections held a week ago, opposition leader and former president, Kumba Yala accused Mr Viera of being the country's top drug trafficker. Guinea-Bissau has in the recent past become a hub for drug trafficking with major drug busts in planes from Latin America to Europe.
The African Union has condemned the attempted coup saying it rejects any form of anti-constitutional government change.
International observers and donors have been saying Guinea-Bissau immediately needs political stability to be enable to resist an increasing threat of Latin American cocaine cartels, which have been using Guinea-Bissau's territory to smuggle tons of drugs.
The former Portuguese colony has a history of coups and misrule. Mr Vieira himself initially seized power in a 1980 coup. He was ousted in another coup in 1998 which led to a brief civil war.
In August, the Bissau government foiled a coup that was allegedly led by the navy chief in impoverished the West African country.
Mr Vieira ruled Guinea-Bissau for nearly 20 years before he was overthrown in the 1998-1999 civil war. He returned from exile to win a democratic election in 2005, two years after soldiers overthrew his predecessor.
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