Gunmen have stormed the main prison in the Conakry capital of Guinea, freeing 2008 coup leader Moussa “Dadis” Camara.
Guinea’s justice minister, Charles Wright, announced this via local Radio Fim FM on Saturday.
According to witnesses, Conakry was sealed off, as gunfire rang out near the administrative heart of the city.
Wright said others were also able to escape alongside Camara, including military figures Claude Pivi and Blaise Goumou.
The duo were also being tried alongside Camara.
“We will find them. And those responsible will be held accountable,” Wright said.
The French AFP news agency quoted a witness from the area who preferred to remain anonymous as saying, “There is gunfire from both automatic and weapons of war in Kaloum.”
Kaloum is the political and administrative heart of the seaside city of Conakry, where the presidential palace and other official administrative buildings are located.
It is also where Moussa Dadis Camara, the former head of the 2008 military junta, is imprisoned alongside other soldiers.
Camara is on trial for a 2009 massacre which left at least 157 people killed. Tens of thousands had gathered at Conakry’s stadium to dissuade him from running for president when soldiers, police and militia members opened fire at them.
Guinea is among eight western or central African countries that have witnessed a military coup in the past three years.