A series of attacks on military barracks and prisons in Sierra Leone over the weekend was a failed coup attempt, government officials in the West African country have said.
Tensions in the West African nation have been on a rise since a contested election in June, with President Bio winning reelection amid concerns about the transparency of the election from European Union observers and United States officials.
Government authorities have said at least 20 people were killed in the attacks on Sunday and about 2,200 people also escaped from prisons that were attacked.
The inspector general of police said the attempted coup “failed in the early hours of the 26th of November”.
William Fayia Sellu told reporters that “a group of people” had tried to illegally “unseat” the government with force.
Information Minister Chernor Bah said that 13 military officers and one civilian have been arrested following the incident.
“The incident was a failed attempted coup. The intention was to illegally subvert and overthrow a democratically elected government,” Bah said on Tuesday, November 28.
“The attempt failed, and plenty of the leaders are either in police custody or on the run. We will try to capture them and bring them to the full force of the laws of Sierra Leone.”
Police have published photographs of 32 men and two women it said were being sought in connection with the attacks . They include serving and retired soldiers and police, as well as some civilians.