Gunfire has broken out at several army barracks in Burkina Faso, prompting fears of a coup in the west African state which the government quickly denied.

Heavy gunfire rang out at a military base in Burkina Faso's capital early Sunday, prompting fears that a coup attempt was underway.
Heavy gunfire rang out at a military base in Burkina Faso's capital early Sunday, prompting fears that a coup attempt was underway. (Sophie Garcia / AP)

Burkina Faso's government has denied that the army had seized control of the country after exchanges of gunfire took place at multiple army barracks, including two in the capital.

"Information on social media would have people believe there was an army takeover," government spokesman Alkassoum Maiga said in a statement on Sunday.

"The government, while recognising the validity of shootings in some barracks, denies this information and calls on the population to remain calm."

Moreover, Defence Minister Aime Barthelemy Simpore indicated that President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has not been detained.

Kabore has faced growing opposition since his reelection in November 2020. He fired his prime minister and replaced most of the Cabinet last month.

State broadcaster RTB carried a news headline describing the gunfire as "acts of discontent by soldiers."

READ MORE: Police fire tear at anti-government protest in Burkina Faso

Protesters torch ruling party HQ

Protesters siding with soldiers who staged mutinies at several barracks in Burkina Faso set fire to the headquarters of the ruling party in the capital, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

The blaze destroyed the ground floor of the building of the People's Movement for Progress (MPP) party, where protesters also vandalised the facade before being dispersed by police firing tear gas on Sunday.

Earlier heavy gunfire rang out at the Sangoule Lamizana camp in the country's capital Ouagadougou, prompting fears that a coup attempt was underway.

Shots were also heard at another military camp, Baby Sy, in the south of the capital, and at an airbase near the airport, military sources said.

There was also gunfire at barracks in the northern towns of Kaya and Ouahigouya, residents there told the AFP news agency.

The gunfire came after a day after clashes between police and demonstrators during banned protests against the authorities' failure to stem violence ravaging the West African country.

It also follows the arrest earlier this month of numerous soldiers over a suspected plot to "destabilise institutions" in the West African country, which has a long history of coups.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies