At least three people have been killed and 60 injured during street clashes in Burkina Faso’s capital as protesters demonstrated against a military coup, a senior source in the main hospital has said.
Witnesses said that soldiers fired warning shots on Thursday to disperse crowds gathering in the streets of Ouagadougou, who responded by throwing stones.
The military had taken to the airwaves earlier on Thursday to declare it now controlled the country, confirming that a coup has taken place on Weednesday – just weeks before national elections.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the country’s military to “exercise restraint”.
Ban condemned “in the strongest terms” the coup led by a close ally of toppled former leader Blaise Compaore.
“Those responsible for the coup d’etat and its consequences must be held accountable,” he said in a statement.
In a statement, Susan Rice, the US National Security Advisor, said: “We call on the responsible parties to release immediately those being detained, order aligned forces to stand down, respect the rights of civilians to peacefully assemble, and put Burkina Faso back on the path to presidential elections in October.
“We are deeply disappointed that the self-interested actions of a few are threatening the historic opportunity that the people of Burkina Faso have to cast their ballots and build a new future for the country.”