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Guinea’s president wounded in attack

world Updated: Dec 04, 2009 11:28 IST

A renegade faction of Guinea’s presidential guard opened fire on the African country’s leader, slightly wounding him amid rumours of deep divisions within the army nearly three months after a military-led massacre of protesters at a peaceful rally.

President Moussa ‘Dadis´ Camara was shot at by his military aide, who heads the presidential guard, Communications Minister Idrissa Cherif said. A statement read on state TV said the 45-year-old president had been slightly wounded but that his life was not in danger.

“The president of the republic is still the president of the republic and he is in good health,” Cherif said as military helicopters and sporadic shooting could be heard in downtown Conakry.

Cherif said Camara had left the country’s main military barracks from where he has been running the country since seizing power in a military-led coup 11 months ago. He headed downtown to a military camp housing hundreds of men under the control of Abubakar ‘Toumba´ Diakite, the president’s aide-de-camp. The shooting occurred inside the camp.

The incident underscores the deep rifts inside the military clique that grabbed control of the nation of 10 million on Africa’s western coast just 11 months ago. Camara had initially promised to quickly organise elections, but then reversed course and began hinting that he planned to run for office, prompting a massive protest September 28.