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Sierra Leone president says calm has been restored

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Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio said most of the leaders of an attack on a military barracks in the capital Freetown earlier on Sunday had been arrested, adding that security operations and an investigation were ongoing.

“We will ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” Bio said on national television.

“As your commander-in-chief, I want to assure everybody who is resident in Sierra Leone that we have overcome this challenge,” he said, and calm had been restored.

Earlier, the government said security forces had repelled “renegade soldiers” who attempted to break into a military armoury in Freetown during the early hours of Sunday.

A nationwide curfew was imposed. Gunfire was heard across the city as the assailants attacked a prison and a police station.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties in the barracks attack or during the gunfire in Freetown on Sunday.

The country’s former president Ernest Bai Koroma, said in a statement that a military guard assigned to his residence in the capital was shot point blank, while another was “whisked away to an unknown location”.

Koroma did not say who shot the guard. He condemned the killing and the attack on the barracks.

“I am deeply concerned that once again our beloved nation could be subject to such insecurity,” he said.

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