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Troops Fire on Military Leader in Guinea

Guinea's military leader has been shot at by troops loyal to a rival within the army's ruling council

Guinea's Communication Minister Idrissa Cherif says military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara was shot at as his convoy entered an army camp in downtown Conakry.

Cherif says the attack was carried out by soldiers loyal to Captain Camara's aide-de-camp Aboubacar Toumba Diakite. Toumba is widely thought to have been involved in the killing of at least 157 opposition demonstrators two months ago.

Toumba and his men escaped the shooting at Camp Koundara. Speaking on state radio, a member of the military council later said Toumba had been arrested.

There are conflicting reports about whether Captain Camara was wounded in the attack. Cherif says the military leader is out of danger and has returned to the main military barracks at Camp Alpha Yaya Diallo.

Human rights officials in Conakry say the latest trouble began when Captain Camara ordered the arrest of ten members of the presidential guard thought to have been involved in the September 28 killing of opposition demonstrators.

Toumba's men Thursday freed at least one of those suspects, and Captain Camara apparently went to Toumba's base at Camp Koundara to find out why. That is when the  shooting happened.

Divisions within Guinea's military have grown since the September violence, which Captain Camara is blaming on both his political opponents and what he calls uncontrollable elements of the military.

A United Nations commission is in Conakry to investigate that killing of opposition protestors who were demonstrating against Captain Camara's expected presidential candidacy. The military government pledged its full cooperation. But the U.N. commission was unable to interview human rights official Mouctar Diallo because he was arrested in connection with an interview he gave to Voice of America following the September violence.

The Economic Community of West African States imposed an arms embargo against the military government because of that violence.

Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore is trying to mediate an end to the political crisis. But his plans for an interim government have been rejected by a coalition of political parties, civil society groups, and trade unions who refuse to take part in any transitional authority that includes members of the military.

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