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Soldiers in Guinea Search for Shooter of Military Leader


Captain Camara is now at a military hospital in Morocco where a physician familiar with the situation says he is being treated for 'several light wounds' and his condition is 'not serious.'

Soldiers in Guinea are searching for the former head of the presidential guard whose men are accused of shooting and wounding the country's military leader. Guinea's military leader is being treated at a hospital in Morocco.

Security forces in Guinea continue their search for former aide-de-camp Lieutenant Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite. Authorities say his men opened fire on military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara late Thursday.

The former aide, who is known as Toumba, escaped after the assassination attempt and is still at large with a small group of the presidential guard. Toumba has been identified by several witnesses as the man who gave the order to open fire on opposition demonstrators two months ago.

Local human rights groups say dozens of women were raped and at least 157 people were killed protesting Captain Camara's expected presidential candidacy. The military says 57 people died, most in the crush of people fleeing Conakry's main sports stadium.

Thursday's trouble began when Captain Camara ordered the arrest of ten members of the presidential guard thought to have been involved in the killing. Toumba's men then tried to free at least one of those suspects, and Captain Camara went to Toumba's base at Camp Koundara to confront him. That is when he was shot.

Captain Camara is now at a military hospital in Morocco where a physician familiar with the situation says he is being treated for "several light wounds" and his condition is "not serious."

Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore says Captain Camara is in a "difficult but not desperate" situation and is in Morocco for surgery.

President Compaore is the regional mediator in Guinea's political crisis. But his proposal for an interim government has been rejected by the leading opposition coalition of political parties, trade unions, and civil society groups. That coalition says it will not take part in any transitional authority that includes members of the military.

Captain Camara took power in a coup last December following the death of long-time leader Lansana Conte. The previously-unknown captain initially gained considerable public support for vowing to crack down on corruption and promising that no one in his ruling military council would run for office in elections to follow.

But Captain Camara has since told several regional diplomats that he intends to run for president. And while he has not officially announced his candidacy, he has told supporters that he will not insult them by ignoring their demands that he run.

Presidential elections rescheduled for next month now appear unlikely. The captain's trip to Morocco is his first outside the country since the coup. In his absence, Communications Minister Idrissa Cherif says power remains in the hands of the ruling military council.