Heavy gunfire was heard on Friday in Guinea Bissau’s capital near barracks where members of the national guard were holed up in the south of the city, according to an AFP journalist and sources.
The national guard members on Thursday night went to release Finance Minister Souleiman Seidi and another senior government official who were being held by police, then took refuge in Bissau’s southern district, according to military and intelligence sources.
The two officials were held in custody after being questioned for several hours about a withdrawal of $10 million from state coffers, according to the sources.
The national guard extricated the two officials and brought them to an unknown location, before seeking refuge in the barracks, the sources said.
Special forces intervened against the national guard and calm was restored after initial attempts at mediation were unsuccessful, they added.
President Umaro Sissoco Embalo is currently travelling abroad.
Guinea-Bissau suffers from chronic political instability and has faced a series of coups and attempted coups since gaining independence from Portugal in 1974, most recently in February 2022.