While gunfire rang out in the streets, Burkina Faso's military took to the airwaves on Thursday to declare it now controls the West African
country, confirming a coup has taken place just weeks before the elections.
The announcement aired on national television and radio said the transitional government was dissolved and the interim president was no longer in power.
The coup leaders, who come from an elite presidential guard unit that had disagreed publicly with the transitional government in recent months, identified themselves as the National Council for Democracy.
Their public statement confirmed what many suspected when the transitional president and prime minister were arrested on Wednesday and barricades were erected around the presidency.
The communique read by Lt Col Mamadou Bamba criticised the electoral code, which blocked members of the ex-president's party from taking part in the October 11 elections.
Anyone who supported the ex-president's bid to amend the constitution so he could seek another term is also banned from running.
Bamba announced the beginning of a "coherent, fair and equitable process" that would lead to inclusive elections.
The power grab violated the country's constitution.
The transitional government came to power after the president of 27 years, Blaise Compaore, was ousted late last year in a public uprising.
Burkina Faso hosts French special forces and serves as an important ally of both France and the United States in the fight against Islamic militants in West Africa.