Guinea-Bissau military base attacked

Unidentified attackers struck a big military base in northern Guinea-Bissau with heavy fire before dawn Friday, but were repelled by government troops.

According to reports reaching here, there was no immediate word on casualties in the assault on the Mansoa army base, some 50 Kilometers north of the country's capital of Bissau.

This was the first reported violence in the country since the military deposed President Kumba Yala in a bloodless coup on Sept.14.

One army source said that the attack appeared aimed at seizing weapons from Mansoa, the largest northern military base, and to beled by a disgruntled officer loyal to the slain leader of a 1999 coup, Brig.Gen.Ansumane Mane, that toppled President Nino Vieira.

Local army officers said that troops were pursing the attackers and carrying out house-to-house searches.

The assault came as the ruling Military Committee moved forward to the signing of a so-called "Transition Charter" for phased return to civilian rule, despite opposition from many political parties and civic leaders over the adopted procedures.

People's Daily Online ---