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Burkina Faso: Govt dissolved, curfew set & borders closed

Burkina Faso’s interim president Michel Kafando has also been stripped of his powers.

FILE: Burkina Faso’s interim president Michel Kafando has also been stripped of his powers. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A military official in Burkina Faso has announced on the country's state-run television station that the government has been dissolved, a curfew has been put in place and borders have been closed.

Burkina Faso's interim president Michel Kafando has also been stripped of his powers.

The unidentified official made the announcement a short while ago after Kafando and his prime minister were taken hostage by the presidential security guards on Wednesday.

The official announced that the military has set up a national democracy council to organise October's elections.

The military is seen to be loyal to long-time Burkina Faso leader Blaise Compaore.

The powerful presidential guard has repeatedly meddled in politics since Compaore was toppled in a popular uprising in October last year.

"The patriotic forces, grouped together in the National Council for Democracy, have decided today to put an end to the deviant transitional regime," the military official said on RTB state television.

"The transition has progressively distanced itself from the objectives of refounding our democracy," he said, adding that a revision of the electoral law that blocked supporters of Compaore from running in the planned 11 October had "created divisions and frustrations among the people."

The apparent military coup, which had raised condemnation from the United Nations, the US government and former colonial power France, quashed hopes of a smooth transition in Burkina Faso, which became a beacon for democratic aspirations in Africa after protesters ousted Compaore.

Hundreds of people had taken to the streets of Ouagadougou late on Wednesday to protest against the seizure of Kafando and the prime minister.

On Thursday, soldiers fired warning shots to disperse a crowd of more than 100 people gathered in the central Independence Square to protest against the presidential guard, a Reuters witness said.

Sporadic gunfire continued to ring out from other areas of the capital early on Thursday morning.