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Group of soldiers appear on national television to announce the toppling of Bazoum’s government as US calls for the president’s ‘immediate release’.
Soldiers in Niger claim to have removed President Mohamed Bazoum from power, hours after members of the presidential guard detained the politician in his official residence.
Reading from a statement late on Wednesday, Colonel Amadou Abdramane said “we the defence and security forces… have decided to put an end” to Bazoum’s regime.
Abdramane was seated and flanked by nine other officers wearing fatigues.
He said the country’s borders are closed and a nationwide curfew declared, and all institutions of the republic were suspended.
The soldiers also warned against any foreign intervention.
The United States called for Bazoum’s immediate release.
“I spoke with President Bazoum earlier this morning, and made clear that the United States resolutely supports him as the democratically elected president of Niger,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“We call for his immediate release,” he added during a visit to New Zealand.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union both earlier decried what they called an “attempted coup d’etat”.