Lieutenant Colonel Zida says taking power in Burkina Faso - radio

Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:35pm EDT
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OUAGADOUGOU Nov 1 (Reuters) - Lieutenant Colonel Issaac Zida said he was taking over as head of state in Burkina Faso, according to a statement read on Omega Radio, in an apparent putsch against the military chief of staff Honore Traore who had earlier said he would lead a transition.

The statement came after a resident living near the presidential palace in Ouagadougou reported hearing several minutes of heavy gunfire in the early hours of Saturday morning. Burkina Faso's longtime President Blaise Compaore had resigned on Friday amid mass protests against his efforts to extend his 27-year rule.

"I assume the functions of head of state and I call on (West African regional bloc) ECOWAS and the international community to demonstrate their understanding and support the new authorities," said the statement. (Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; Writing by Daniel Flynn)