Guinea’s president was being evacuated to Morocco for treatment after he was shot during an assassination attempt nearly a year after he seized power in a coup, a retired diplomat said yesterday.
The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, is close to the West African country’s ruling junta.
Earlier yesterday, a spokesman had said that Guinean President Moussa “Dadis” Camara was being treated by a team of doctors who arrived overnight from neighboring Senegal. However, Communication Minister Idrissa Cherif said Camara was “walking and talking and is doing fine.”
However, several people said the president had suffered a bullet wound to the head. Guinea’s communication minister denied those reports, saying the doctors had conducted “a simple check-up.”
The government had earlier said that Camara was shot on Thursday by Abubakar “Toumba” Diakite, who commands the presidential guard. A rift had opened between the two following a September massacre during which presidential guard members killed at least 157 unarmed civilians at a pro-democracy rally.
“Everything is under control. The doctors are here for a simple check-up,” Cherif said. “[Camara] is doing fine ... He has a slight wound on his shoulder. It’s nothing to worry about.”
However, a senior civil servant said on condition of anonymity that members of the military had confirmed Camara was in serious condition from a head wound.
Camara, 45, was shot while at a military camp housing hundreds of men under Diakite’s control, Cherif said. Camara had driven to Camp Koundara to confront Diakite after Diakite went to a downtown police station and released officers that were loyal to him but whom Camara had ordered arrested, Cherif said.
He said that Diakite was still at large along with a contingent of his men.