US issues travel alert after Guinea-Bissau coup

Posted at 04/14/12 9:18 AM

WASHINGTON - The United States issued a travel warning Friday for Guinea-Bissau after a coup in the African nation, urging American citizens "to shelter in place and avoid the downtown area of Bissau."

A statement from the State Department said it "has received reports of explosions and heavy weapons fire in Guinea-Bissau's capital city" and cited a "threat of continued violence and an increased potential for political instability and civil or military unrest."

The statement said the country's airport was closed on Friday "and its future operating status is not known."

The White House earlier condemned the military coup in Guinea-Bissau and called for the restoration of the country's legitimate government.

Deposed prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior, the favorite in a second-round presidential election set for this month, was seized in a military assault on his home using rocket-propelled grenades on Thursday.

The military also captured interim president Raimundo Pereira.

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