UPDATE 6-Burkina president rejects opposition calls to step down after violence

Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:06pm EDT
 
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* Tens of thousands protest against bid to extend Compaore's rule

* Military says government, national assembly has been dissolved

* President says willing to open talks on transitional government

* Emergency services say at least three protesters shot dead (Adds President Compaore's statement)

By Mathieu Bonkoungou and Joe Penney

OUAGADOUGOU, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore said on Thursday he would stay in power at the head of a transitional government until after elections, rejecting opposition calls for him to step down immediately following a day of violent protests.

The head of the armed forces, General Honore Traore, had earlier dissolved parliament and announced talks with all political parties to create an interim government to take the West African country to democratic elections within a year.

The move came after at least three protesters were shot dead and scores wounded in clashes with security forces as demonstrators attacked the homes of senior members of the ruling party and symbols of Compaore's long rule.

Hundreds of people had earlier stormed parliament, looting the building and setting it on fire, while others ransacked state television, forcing it off the air.   Continued...