A group of soldiers seized power in Guinea and dissolved the nation’s constitution, according to a statement broadcast on state television.
The announcement came hours after heavy gunfire erupted near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry, earlier on Sunday morning. Agence France-Presse reported that the coup leaders arrested President Alpha Conde.
The president was sworn in last December for a third term in office, vowing to fight corruption in the world’s biggest bauxite exporter. Initially hailed when he came to power in 2010 for ushering in democratic rule, the 83-year-old has increasingly cracked down on opponents as opposition against his rule has grown
Guinea vies with Australia as China’s largest supplier of bauxite, the raw material used to make alumina and eventually aluminium. The country shipped 82.4-million tons of the mineral globally last year, according to government data. Much of that went to China, which is the world’s biggest aluminium-consuming country.