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Gambia Foils Coup Attempt

Several army officers have been arrested in Gambia following an attempted coup Tuesday night. The former head of the armed forces is reported to have fled the capital Banjul.

Gambian national radio read out an official statement, issued by President Yahya Jammeh's office on Wednesday, saying the government had foiled a coup attempt the previous night.

The statement said several army officers believed to have been involved in the plot have been arrested. It says that the situation is now under control.

Meanwhile, the army's chief of staff, Colonel Ndure Cham, is reported to have disappeared. Wednesday's announcement said he was sacked and replaced by former chief of staff Colonel Hassan Sarr.

Colonel Cham had previously been dismissed from a ministerial post after he was suspected of being involved in a coup attempt. He was appointed the army's chief of staff in September.

Traffic in the capital, Banjul, came to a halt between seven on Tuesday evening and seven the next morning, as soldiers searched cars entering the city.

President Jammeh cut short a visit to Mauritania to return to Banjul late on Tuesday.

Mr. Jammeh gained power in a bloodless coup in 1994.