Defense Minister Artur Silva, in an interview with VOA’s Portuguese Service (www.voanews.com/portuguese) early today, confirmed the attacks that left both President Joao Bernardo Vieira and General Batiste Tagme na Waie dead in Bissau, the capital of one of the five poorest countries in the world. The two men were rivals.
Officials said a bomb blast at military headquarters killed Waie. Later soldiers assassinated Vieira, who first came to power in a coup in 1980. He was forced out after 19 years, but returned to win the 2005 presidential elections.
A VOA stringer in Bissau gave accounts of the killings along with the aftermath in which military officials said there was no coup attempt. The capital is reported to be calm.
U.S. officials have long been concerned with drug shipments passing through Guinea-Bissau en route to Europe.
VOA’s Portuguese to Africa Service broadcasts 14 hours a week by shortwave, FM and AM to Guinea -Bissau, Sao Tome, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Angola.
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