A minimum of three soldiers are reported to have been killed in Banjul, Gambia on Monday night in an attempted coup d’etat led by former State House Commander, Lt Colonel Lamin Sanneh.
The three of the four coup leaders were reportedly killed by forces loyal to President Yahya Jammeh’s government. One of them is said to have escaped but it is not clear whether he is still in or out of the Gambia.
Some of the government loyalists are said to have sustained serious injuries during the brief exchange of fire with the mutineers but it is not certain whether anyone of them has died. President Jammeh is out of the country.At the moment, only soldiers in uniform are allowed to enter the city of Banjul, which is on an island linked to the mainland by a bridge, the city is closed for any civilians to enter or leave.
Reports from international news media said there is a state of fear and panic among the general public particularly those in Banjul and the suburbs. Most institutions are closed and the loyalists have appealed to the people to stay in-doors. The news is circulating by word of mouth; and in the streets, people are discussing the situation in small groups. There have been several coup attempts against the government of Jammeh, who himself came to power in a coup in 1994. In 2009, eight former army and police officials, including former army chief General Lang Tombong Tamba and former intelligence chief Lamin Badjie were accused of plotting a coup to overthrow the Jammeh government but failed, and they are now serving life imprisonment. Eleven people were jailed over an earlier coup attempt in 2006.