(JollofNews) – At least four people were reported to have been killed in the Gambia’s capital, Banjul, as government forces foiled an alleged coup plot against President Yahya Jammeh.
According to reports, some armed men led by former State House Commander, Lt Colonel Lamin Sanneh, invaded the country yesterday evening from neighbouring Senegal and attacked the presidential palace in Banjul and the military post at the Denton Bridge, which links Banjul to the southern part of the country.
The gun fight started at around 1am local time and lasted until the early hours of the morning.
Lt Colonel Sanneh is reported to have been injured during the gun fight. There are unconfirmed reports that he has died of his injuries. Four armed men were reported to have been killed while four others have been captured. One of attackers is reported to have sustained serious injuries.
There have been several coup attempts against the government of Mr Jammeh, who also came to power in a coup and is accused by critics of governing the Gambia with an iron fist and committing serious rights abuses including arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance.
President Jammeh is in France for a medical check-up but there reports that he is on his way back to Banjul.
“Between four and five people were killed during a gun battle at State House and Denton Bridge,” said a senior government official who requested anonymity.
Our source said a shoot-out took place on the outskirts of Banjul, with one soldier sustaining serious injuries and is being treated at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
“A small group of ill-intentioned individuals attempted to carry out this evil plot against our peaceful country,” the source said.
“Thank God our gallant soldiers were able to neutralise them.”
At the time of writing this report, armed soldiers are reported to be patrolling the streets of Banjul and Kanilai.
Who is Lt Col Sanneh
Lt Colonel Lamin Sanneh was appointed Commanding Officer of the State Guards in July 2012. He was removed from the post a year later and later fled the country after falling out with President Yahya Jammeh.
He was born in Kalagi village, Foni Jarrol District, in 1979. He attended Tankular Primary School, Brikama Junior Secondary School and Nusrat Senior Secondary School before joining the army in the year 2000.
He obtained AAT from the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) in 2002 before proceeding to the University of the Gambia were he graduated in 2009 with a BSC in Management and Finance.
In 2012, he graduated with an MA in Strategic Security Studies at the National Defence University, Washington, USA.