A soldier patrols the government palace area in Bissau, capital of Guinea-Bissau, on February 1, 2022. AFPTV teams / AFP
Guinea-Bissau appeared calm on Wednesday after the unstable West African country was shaken by an attempted coup attempt the previous day, AFP journalists said.
On Tuesday afternoon, heavily armed men surrounded government buildings in the capital Bissau, where President Umaro Sissoco Embalo and his prime minister were believed to have been attending a cabinet meeting.
Sissoco, 49, later told reporters that he had been unharmed during a five-hour gun battle which he described as an assassination plot. Several people were killed in the attack, the president said.
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On Wednesday morning, shops and banks had reopened in Bissau and traffic was returning to the streets, AFP journalists saw.
Access to the government buildings recently attacked by gunmen was blocked by soldiers, however. Troops were also patrolling the city.
Guinea-Bissau is an impoverished coastal state of around two million people, south of Senegal, and is notoriously unstable.
The former Portuguese colony has seen four military putsches since gaining independence in 1974, most recently in 2012.
In 2014, the country vowed to return to democracy, but it has enjoyed little stability since and the armed forces wield substantial clout.
The country suffers from endemic corruption. It is also known as a hub for cocaine trafficking between Latin America and Europe.