Guinea-Bissau president survives coup try

Nov. 23, 2008 at 3:30 PM

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Guniea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo Vieira and his family were unhurt in an attack by gunmen on his residence, U.N. officials said Sunday.

One person died and several others were injured overnight when soldiers shot at the presidential residence in what appeared to be a coup attempt shortly after parliamentary election results were announced in the small West African nation, the BBC reported.

Shola Omeregie, a representative for the United Nations in Guinea-Bissau, confirmed to the broadcaster that there had been a military attack on the president's home but that Vieira and his family were safe.

The African Union issued a warning against any "attempt to seize power by force" in the former Portuguese colony, which has a recent history of coups. The violence came after the ruling party won the parliamentary balloting by a wide margin, the BBC said.

The interior ministry confirmed that one attacker was killed while several guards loyal to the president had been injured.

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