Thursday, October 30, 2014

Burkina Faso parliament set ablaze

Burkina Faso's parliament on fire (30 October 2014) 
Protesters angry at plans to allow Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year-rule have set fire to parliament.

Correspondents say the city hall and ruling party headquarters are also in flames.

A huge crowd is surging towards the presidential palace and the main airport has been shut.

MPs have suspended a vote on changing the constitution to allow Mr Compaore to stand for re-election next year.

Five people have been killed in the protests, among the most serious against Mr Compaore's rule, reports BBC Afrique's Yacouba Ouedraogo from the capital.
Map showing Burkina Faso

The military fired live bullets as protesters stormed parliament, our correspondent says.

Journalists are now gathered outside the defence ministry awaiting a statement from the military, he says.

Witnesses say dozens of soldiers have joined the protests, including a former defence minister, Gen Kouame Lougue.

The main opposition leader, Zephirin Diabre, has called on the military to side with "the people".

A man stands in front of a burning car, near the Burkina Faso's Parliament where demonstrators set fire to parked cars - 30 October 2014, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Cars were also set ablaze near parliament 

Men shout slogans in front of burning cars, near the Burkina Faso's parliament - 30 October 2014,  Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
The protesters do not want Mr Compaore to change the constitution to extend his rule

Burkina Faso troops try to disperse protesters in Ouagadougou on 30 October 2014
The defence forces have been trying to disperse the protesters

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