Sierra Leone’s civil aviation authority on Sunday urged airlines to reschedule flights after a nationwide curfew imposed by the government in response to an attack on a military barracks by unidentified gunmen.
The aviation authority said in a statement that passengers should be placed on the next available flights after the curfew is lifted. It added that the country’s airspace remains open, Reuters reports.
Gunfire was heard in some neighbourhoods of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown on Sunday afternoon following an attempt by unidentified gunmen to break into a military armoury.
The government declared a nationwide curfew after assailants attacked the armoury at the Wilberforce barracks in the early hours of Sunday. The assailants were rebuffed by the country’s security forces, it said in a statement.
“The public is assured that the government and our state security forces are in control,” information minister Chernor Bah said in the statement.
“To enable the security forces to continue the process of apprehending the suspects, a nationwide curfew has been declared with immediate effect across the country. We strongly advise citizens to stay indoors,” the statement added.
The political situation in Sierra Leone has been tense since President Julius Maada Bio was re-elected in June, a result rejected by the main opposition candidate.
Sierra Leone’s interior minister David Taluva told Reuters that the retreating assailants had attacked a police barracks after running out of ammunition, and had seized more arms from police officers.