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Guinea Bissau counter-coup leader arrested

In Guinea Bissau, the suspected leader of a counter-coup attempt has been arrested. Officials in the former Portuguese colony say Lisbon was behind the plot.

Das Bild zeigt einen toten Soldaten, der bei einem Angriff am Sonntag Morgen (21.12.) getötet wurde, als eine aufständische Militäreinheit die Luftwaffenbasis von Bissalanca attackierte. Diese Attacke konnte zurückgeschlagen werden, wobei sieben Soldaten gestorben sind. Copyright: DW/Braima Darame 21.10.2012, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

Putschversuch getötete Soldat Guinea-Bissau

The man arrested, Captain Pansao Ntchama, was a former bodyguard for former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior, who was ousted in a coup in April.

Ntchama, who was arrested in the city of Bolama on Saturday, is considered the leader of an attack (pictured above) a week ago on an army barracks that killed seven people. Guinea Bissau's caretaker government said right after the attack that it was an attempted coup.

Two others suspected to be involved in the attack were also arrested on Saturday.

The caretaker government maintains Portugal had called for the attack in an effort to restore Gomes Junior to power. The former leader is currently in exile in Portugal.

The coup in April interrupted presidential elections in the west African nation, which has suffered a series of coups and assassinations since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974. No president has ever completed a full term in office.

Guinea Bissau has gained a reputation as a stopping point for Latin American drug cartels moving cocaine to Europe.

mz/mr (Reuters, AFP)

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