Guinea soldiers: Pres. detained, govt. dissolved

A military unit in the West African nation of Guinea says it has detained the president, Alpha Conde, and seized power.

Reuters and other media outlets reported that violent gunshots were heard in the capital, Conakry, on Sunday. They said the shots sounded in a district where government agencies are located. They added that many soldiers were seen on the streets.

Soldiers later appeared on state television. They announced that they had dissolved the government and suspended the constitution.

AFP distributed a video that shows a man surrounded by soldiers. The man appears to be Conde. The news agency said the video was filmed by soldiers when they detained the president.

But it is not clear if the military has taken control. There is a report that an attack on the presidential palace was repelled.

Guinea's constitution stipulates that the president can serve up to two terms, or 10 years, in office. But Conde was effectively reelected to a third term last October. He claimed that his previous terms did not count, since the constitution was revised in April of last year. Conde's move drew sharp criticism from opposition parties.

Guinea's economy has continued to grow, due to exports of rich mineral resources. The country is said to have one of the world's largest reserves of bauxite. But political instability is casting a shadow over the country's future.