Tension in Burkina Faso after president detained

Ouagadougou, Sep 17 (IANS) Tension mounted in Burkina Faso as President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida were detained by guards loyal to former president Blaise Compaore, weeks before the elections.

Media reports said that the guards fired gunshots on Wednesday to disperse demonstrators near the presidential palace who were gathering to condemn their actions.

Sources told Xinhua it is difficult to access the presidential palace which is controlled by elements of the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP), the former guards of Blaise Compaore.

The guards have not explained reasons for their actions.

The chairman of the National Transitional Council, Cherrif Sy condemned these acts with the “strongest terms” in a statement.

“Duty calls us because the nation is at risk,” he said, adding that the president, the prime minister and several ministers are still in the hands of the guards.

“Dialogue attempts are under way,” he said.

Civil society organizations started a rally in the Revolution Square to denounce the actions.

Several streets of the Burkina Faso capital are blocked and people rushed to return home before dusk, a witness said.

The National Reconciliation and Reforms Commission (CRNR) recommended on Monday dissolving the RSP, the praetorian guards of former president Blaise Compaore, ousted from power in October 2014 by street uprising.

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