There has been sustained heavy gunfire near the presidential palace in the centre of Guinea’s capital, Conakry.
It is not clear what is behind the shooting but it is said to involve a unit of the country’s special forces.
Soldiers are patrolling the otherwise deserted streets of the central Kaloum district, as terrified residents heed their orders to stay at home.
A senior government official told Reuters that President Alpha Condé was unharmed but gave no further details.
A Western diplomat told the AFP news agency he had “no doubt” it was an attempted coup.
There has been no word from the authorities in the West African country.
The only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum peninsular, which houses most ministries and the presidential palace, had been sealed off and many soldiers, some heavily armed, were posted around the palace, a military source told Reuters.
There are unconfirmed reports that three soldiers have been killed.
President Condé was re-elected for a third term in office amid violent protests last year.
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