President Roch Kabore of Burkina Faso has been detained at a military camp by mutinying soldiers, Reuters reports.
According to a report by the medium, the President’s arrest was confirmed by four security sources and a West African diplomat.
On Sunday evening, there was heavy gunfire around the President’s residence in the country’s capital Ouagadougou.
This was even as soldiers demanded more support for their fight against Islamist militants. However, the government had denied that the army had seized power.
Kabore’s whereabouts or situation were unknown as of Monday morning, with conflicting reports circulating among security and diplomatic sources.
Several armoured vehicles of the presidential fleet, riddled with bullets, could be seen near the president’s residence. One was spattered with blood. Residents of the president’s neighbourhood reported heavy gunfire overnight.
However, there has been no report from government sources.
Frustration has risen in Burkina Faso in recent months due to the frequent killing of civilians and soldiers by militants, some of whom have links to the Islamic State and al Qaeda.
Protesters came out to support the mutineers on Sunday and ransacked the headquarters of Kabore’s political party. The government declared a curfew from 2000 GMT to 0530 GMT until further notice and closed schools for two days.
The turmoil in Burkina Faso comes after successful military coups over the past 18 months in Mali and Guinea, where the army removed President Alpha Conde last September.
The military also took over in Chad last year after President Idriss Deby died on the battlefield there.
Burkina Faso’s army has suffered heavy losses at the hands of Islamist militants, who control swathes of the country and have forced residents in those areas to abide by their harsh version of Islamic law.
The upheaval underscores the political consequences of the growing insurgency across the Sahel region, including Nigeria.