Burkina soldiers arrested over plot to free comrades

Some 20 soldiers from elite Burkina unit were arrested because of plot to free coup chief and leader General Gilbert Diendere

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

General Gilbert Diendere, leader of a failed September 2015 coup in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso security sources said on Monday that some elite soldiers have been arrested due to their plot to free comrades who are detained including coup leader General Gilbert Diendere.

According to the source, the troops -- one of whom is "a foreign national" -- were seized at a meeting where they planned to carry out "an attack on several barracks in the capital," AFP cited an official as saying.

Meanwile, the source added that both General Gilbert Diendere and General Djibrill Bassol, another alleged coup leader, would be freed after their detained colleagues.

The source continued to explain the details about the operation, on condition of anonymity. Some 20 soldiers who were arrested were seized during the operation and "are being held at Guillaume Bassole," a military camp in the centre of the capital Ouagadougou, the source told AFP.

Also, Prime Minister Prime Minister Isaac Zida has confirmed the arrest of the soldiers, saying "they will be tried for the simple fact of conceiving" the plan.

Burkina Faso authorities have also charged General Gilbert Diendere, who led the failed coup in September, with the 1987 assassination of former President Thomas Sankara, senior security sources told Reuters news agency.

"General Gilbert Diendere is formally charged in the Thomas Sankara case," a senior security source said, adding he had already been charged with the murder of 10 others from the elite presidential guards.

Diendere was the intelligence chief and right-hand man of Compaore. In September, he managed the presidential guard in a coup, which was short-lived, in which soldiers took transitional President Michel Kafando and the prime minister hostage.

TRTWorld and agencies