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coup attempt

A group of Turkish army has announced it has taken control of the country, with bridges closed in Istanbul and aircraft flying low over Ankara.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier denounced an “illegal action” by a military “group”, stressing it was not a coup. He said that the government remained in charge.

Traffic has been stopped from crossing both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul.

There are reports of gunshots in the capital Ankara.

Soldiers were inside buildings of the Turkish state broadcaster in Ankara.

Gunfire was also heard outside Istanbul police headquarter and tanks are said to be stationed outside Istanbul airport. All flights are canceled, reports say.

CNN Turk reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “safe” but did not elaborate.Turkey coup attempt July 2016

A statement from the military group read out on NTV television said: “The power in the country has been seized in its entirety.”

Who represents the group remains uncertain.

A Turkish presidential source told Reuters that the statement was not authorized by the military command.

PM Binali Yildirim told NTV by telephone: “We are working on the possibility of an attempt. We will not allow this attempt. “

“Those who are in this illegal act will pay the highest price,” he added, saying it would not be correct to describe the move as a “coup”.

The prime minister said: “There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy.”

There are reports Turkey’s top general has been taken hostage at the military headquarter.

Visiting Moscow, Secretary of State John Kerry said he hoped for peace and “continuity” in Turkey.


Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has decided to sack three cabinet ministers, as protests resumed after last week’s coup attempt.

His spokesman denied that the dismissal of the defense, external relations and trade ministers was linked to the failed coup.

Soldiers fired in the air to disperse protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza running for a third term in elections due next month.

Pierre Nkurunziza returned from Tanzania last week after the unrest.

The sacked ministers’ replacements have already been appointed, including Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye as defense minister.

On May 18, soldiers fire live rounds in the as protesters chanted for President Pierre Nkurunziza to drop his plans to seek a third term in elections.Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza

Some businesses were closed and activities stopped in the Nyakabiga, Musaga and Mutakura neighborhoods of Bujumbura.

Several alleged leaders of the coup attempt have been arrested but Gen. Godefroid Niyombare, who announced it in a radio broadcast, remains on the run.

Pierre Nkurunziza made his first official appearance in front of international media since returning from Tanzania on May 17.

He said nothing about the coup plot or the current crisis in the country.

Instead, Pierre Nkurunziza said Burundi faced a specific threat from the Somali Islamist movement al-Shabab.

Al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mahamud Rage denied this, saying the statement was intended “to divert the world’s attention from him”.

Burundi has troops fighting al-Shabab, as part of the African Union mission in Somalia.

A coup took place in Burundi while President Pierre Nkurunziza was out of the country.

Pierre Nkurunziza flew back from a summit in Tanzania, but the airport had been closed to stop him from landing. His plane reportedly returned to Tanzania.

Heavy fighting has been taking place overnight between soldiers loyal to the president and those who back the coup.

Confusion remains as to whether the coup has been successful or not.

Burundi coup was announced by Maj. Gen. Godefroid Niyombare, a former intelligence chief and ally of the president who was dismissed in February, after Pierre Nkurunziza left for Tanzania on May 13.Burundi coup 2015

Thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate the announcement.

However, overnight, army chief of staff Gen. Prime Niyongabo – a supporter of President Pierre Nkurunziza – announced: “The attempted coup… has been stopped.”

His announcement came after a night of negotiations between Gen. Prime Niyongabo and the defense minister, who backs the coup.

Factions loyal to each side began fighting each other for control of the national television and radio station, witnesses said.

There has been mounting unrest in Burundi since President Pierre Nkurunziza, who came to power in 2005, announced he was seeking a third term in office – apparently in contravention of the constitution.

Announcing the coup, Gen. Godefroid Niyombare said he did not recognize the leadership because the president’s bid for a third term violated the constitution.

“The masses vigorously and tenaciously reject President Nkurunziza’s third-term mandate. President Pierre Nkurunziza has been relieved of his duties. The government is overthrown,” he said in a radio broadcast.

A few hours later the Burundi presidency dismissed the coup attempt, saying: “It is with regret that we have learned that a group from the armed forces mutinied this morning and declared an imaginary coup.

“This coup attempt has been foiled and that these people, who read the coup announcement on the radio, are being hunted by defense and security forces so that they can be brought to justice.”

Pierre Nkurunziza had been in Dar es Salaam to discuss the crisis with regional leaders.

He flew back to Burundi upon learning of the coup, but the airport had been shut to prevent him landing, and so he had returned to Dar es Salaam. It is not clear if he remains there.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said the summit had condemned the coup, adding: “The region will not accept, nor will the region stand by, if violence does not stop or escalates in Burundi.”

The US and UN have appealed for calm.

Burundi unrest began on April 26 and has led to the deaths of more than 20 people.

Tens of thousands of Burundians have fled to neighboring states in recent weeks.

President Pierre Nkurunziza has rejected calls to postpone next month’s election. However, the summit in Tanzania urged him to do so.

Pierre Nkurunziza, a 51-year-old former rebel leader, argues that he is entitled to run for a third term because he was first appointed to the role by parliament in 2005.

The Burundian constitution states a president should govern only for two terms, but earlier this month a court upheld Pierre Nkurunziza’s interpretation.