Gambia Says Former Presidential Guard Chief Led Coup Attempt

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Gambia’s government has accused the former head of the West African nation’s presidential guard of leading a small group, as well as two former U.S. soldiers, in a failed attempt to oust President Yahya Jammeh last month.

Officials in the United States have already arrested and charged two men – a Texas businessman and an Afghanistan war veteran – of involvement in the plot and are continuing their investigation.

In a statement read on state-owned television, Gambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Neneh Macdouall-Gaye named nine men she said had mounted the early morning assault on the presidential palace in the capital Banjul on Dec. 30.

They were led by Lieutenant-Colonel Lamin Sanneh, who had once headed the elite State Guard before being dismissed and fleeing abroad, and included retired U.S. Army Captain Njaga Jagne and Papa Faal, a former U.S. Army sergeant, she said.

Most of the other assailants named were identified as active and former members of Gambia’s security forces.

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