Thursday, January 1, 2015 1:39 pm
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has accused unidentified foreign powers for backing dissidents who tried to topple his government on Tuesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, shops and banks reopened a day after gunfire erupted around the presidential palace in an apparent coup attempt led by a former commander of the presidential guard.
In a sign of heightened security, government forces set up three checkpoints on the Denton Bridge into the capital to search people as they headed into work and check identity papers, witnesses said.
The U.S. government and the United Nations both issued statements condemning any attempts to seize power but also warning against any further violence.
Addressing Gambians for the first time since he returned from abroad after the attack, Jammeh dismissed talk of a coup, saying his country had been attacked by dissidents based in the United States, Germany and Britain.
“It was an attack by terrorist groups backed by some foreign powers which I will not name now,” he told state television.
Jammeh said weapons seized by security forces had been made in the United States and authorities would release further intelligence gathered from the attackers on Thursday.
The capital was locked down by security forces on Tuesday after gunfire erupted early in the morning. An earlier government statement played down the incident.
Diplomats monitoring the country, one of the most secretive in West Africa, warned of the possibility of a crackdown on those accused of having links to the attack.