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Streets of Burundi filled with sound of gunfire

There is no clarity on who is in control as two factions of the army fight each other on the streets.

FILE: A screengrab picture shows thousands of anti-president protesters in Burundi took to the streets to protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza's third term approval.

BUJUMBURA - It's now being reported that Burundi's state run television has suspended all newscasts after a coup attempt.

The Burundi army earlier tried to gain control of the TV centre but met resistance from security guards.

Burundi's state radio has also been taken off air this afternoon with witnesses reporting heavy gunfire coming from the station's headquarters.

Shortly before the transmission stopped President Pierre Nkurunziza condemned the coup plotters and said he would forgive soldiers who surrender.

Sporadic gunshots have been heard in the capital, the scene of deadly anti-government protests against Nkurunziza' s bid for a third term.

The president tried to return to Burundi last night but was forced to turn back to Dar es Salaam.

Since morning, gunfire has been ringing in Bujumbura.

No one knows who is in control as two factions of the army fight each other in the streets.

Yesterday, Major Godefroid Niyombare announced he was leading a coup against Nkurunziza.

But the chief army of staff decided against following his lead.

Loyalists are now holding the presidency, the state radio and according to some recent reports the international airport as well.

As fighting continues in the city Burundi's future hangs in the balance.

Meanwhile, Burundi's president has taken to social media to appeal for calm as riots continue in his country after a general claimed to have deposed him.

African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has condemned in the strongest terms yesterday's coup attempt.

The whereabouts of Nkurunziza are still unclear.

He was in Dar es Salaam yesterday for a regional summit called to discuss the crisis in Burundi triggered by his seeking an unconstitutional third term in power.

He didn't attend the gathering of leaders.

On hearing of the attempted coup, Nkurunziza's official said he was returning home.

It's not clear if his plane was turned around at landing in Bujumbura or if it left Tanzania at all.

Nkurunziza said in a tweet this morning that forces loyal to him still controlled Burundi.