Attempted Coup, Prison Break Triggers Nationwide Lockdown, Sierra Leone

At approximately 2357 EST, gunshots rang out in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Over the next three hours various eyewitness and local media outlets reported that an armed group of at least 30 unidentified gunmen attempted to break into the military barracks and army base in the Wilberforce area of Sierra Leone. These militants also attempted to gain control of the Presidential Lodge that is near the barracks. RPG and automatic gunfire prompted at least 300 civilians to evacuate the immediate area as security forces and the gunmen exchanged fire for more than three hours.

The first government announcement did not come until 0157 EST, when the Ministry of Information and Public Education announced a nationwide curfew:

By 0311 EST, embattled Sierra Leone President Bio made a public announcement on his Twitter claiming that the gunmen were rebuffed:

However, by 0330 EST, gunfire had shifted to the Pademba Road Prison where another group of gunmen were springing prisoners. Local media claimed that a number of prisoners were able to escape and that they had been provided arms by the original gunmen. Of the escaped prisoners, Sierra Leone’s musician King Boss LA is said to have been included. He was arrested on June 11th, 2022 for suspicion of robbery and violence.

By 0500 EST local media claimed that a group of gunmen took over the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation building in Freetown. As of this publication, gunfire is still being reported near Aberdeen Road and the Hill area of Freetown. However, the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority has urged all air carriers to reschedule flights to Freetown after the curfew was lifted in the last hour.

International condemnation poured in from the United Kingdom, the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone, and the Economic Community of Western African States.

The situation seems to have bottomed out.

 

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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