OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Suspected loyalists of Burkina Faso’s deposed President Blaise Compaore seized weapons in an overnight raid on an armory in the capital, security sources said on Friday.
The arms theft comes less than a week after al Qaeda fighters killed 30 people in a restaurant and hotel popular with foreigners in Ouagadougou, exposing the security challenges facing new President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
Two military sources said gunmen arrived at the weapons depot at around 4 a.m. on Friday and overpowered the security detail on duty. There were no casualties, but the assailants carried off an unknown quantity of weapons.
The sources said at least one of the attackers was recognized as a member of Compaore’s elite Presidential Security Regiment (RSP), which was disarmed and dissolved last year after the ex-leader’s spy chief General Gilbert Diendere used them to mount a failed coup.
Diendere has been charged with crimes including treason.
Government spokesman Remi Dandjin, part of a new cabinet named only last week, confirmed the attack but said he was not able to give details other than that gendarmes and police had secured the zone.
Compaore was driven from power and forced to flee Burkina Faso in Oct. 2014 amid a popular uprising opposed to his attempt to alter the constitution and extend his 27-year rule. He lives in exile in neighboring Ivory Coast.
Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou and Nadoun Coulibaly; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Alison Williams