Guinean PM calls emergency meeting after president attack

10:08, July 20, 2011      

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Guinean Prime Minister Mouhamed Said Fofanah called an emergency meeting after President Alpha Conde survived a rocket attack on his residence early Tuesday.

A source close to the meeting told Xinhua that Fofanah briefed the participants on the latest development since the raid, which some analysts see as a coup attempt just months after last year's presidential election.

The gathering was attended by the president and vice presidents of the National Council of Transition (CNT) which is acting as the temporary parliament, the first president of the Supreme Court, the president of the Economic and Social Council, the army chief and the president of the electoral commission.

Fofanah told the officials that a number of individuals attempted to kill President Conde, using heavy weapons to attack his residence in the area of Kippe in the capital Conakry.

He deplored the deaths and injuries in the attack and property losses, without giving details.

Earlier reports said one of the presidential guards was killed and three others injured.

In the name of President Conde, the prime minister thanked the loyalist forces for their courage and the Guinean people for maintaining calm and showing signs of sympathy with the Guinean president.

"Many assailants have been apprehended, have given information, " according to the premier.

Guinea's former army chief Nouhou Thiam was reportedly arrested following the attack, which was suspected to have been carried out by some disgruntled soldiers at 3:00 a.m (local time) and lasted more than an hour.

Fofanah vowed to take measures to protect civilians and prevent perpetrators from pushing the country backward.

The pre-dawn attack put to test the West African country, which is scrambling with the shadow of coups since independence from France in 1958.

Conde, 73, was elected on Nov. 7 and sworn in as president on Dec. 22 to end a long-standing crisis triggered by a military coup, following the death of president Lansana Conte in December 2008.

Under Guinea's Constitution, the legislative election must be held six months after the presidential vote. Conde is under mounting pressure as the polls have been delayed.

In March, the Africa Union (AU) sent a delegation to Guinea to urge the country to hold the legislative election as early as possible.

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