Gabon military seize national radio station in apparent coup attempt

Soldiers took over the state radio station in the coup attempt

Soldiers took over the state radio station in the coup attempt

Soldiers in Gabon have launched a coup d'etat while the country's president, Ali Bongo, is undergoing medical treatment in Morocco.

They took control of the national radio station at 04:00 local time (03:00 GMT) to read a short statement announcing a "National Restoration Council".

President Ali Bongo, the son of former leader Omar Bongo, has been in power of the oil-rich nation since October 2009.

The BBC also reported that tanks and armed vehicles were on the streets of the capital Libreville.

However, the Military has described it as "a pitiful sight" and a "relentless attempt to cling onto power".

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Bongo was sworn in as president of Gabon for his second seven-year term in 2016, after a disputed election that was followed by protests that turned deadly.

Bongo, 59, suffered a stroke on October 24 while visiting Saudi Arabia and has since been treated in Morocco.

One soldier, who identified himself as Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, according to BNO news site, urged fellow military personnel and citizens to arm themselves and occupy military bases, airports, and border crossings.

The Bongo family has ruled the oil-producing country for almost half a century.

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