The government has confirmed on Wednesday that at least 11 people were killed when soldiers tried to overthrow Guinea-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo.
Embalo disclosed on Tuesday evening that many members of the security forces had been killed during the shootings, which lasted five hours.
The dead included military and paramilitary forces and four civilians, including a senior official from the Agriculture Ministry, the Minister of Tourism and spokesman for the government, Fernado Vaz, told a news briefing in the capital Bissau.
He also denounced what he described as a “violent and barbaric” attack aimed at decapitating the state.
Vaz said the attempted coup was planned and perpetrated by people with “ulterior motives” with the support of “people with financial capabilities.”
While it was not clear whether the attackers were members of the security forces, reports indicated that Embalo and Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam were holding a Cabinet meeting in the building at the time.
The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres both expressed grave concern over the situation.
Media reports said on Wednesday that spy chiefs had launched investigations to help identify the attackers.
Soldiers patrolled streets, but businesses had resumed their operations.