Gambia Cracks Down on Coup Attempt

Gambia authorities allegedly arrested several dozen military personnel and civilians after a trove of weapons and explosives were found as a part of a failed coup attempt on the tiny West African nation, an intelligence source said Thursday. The AFP reports suspects were being interrogated at “four villas” near the capital city of Banjul following Tuesday’s attack on the presidential palace. President Yahya Jammeh, who was out of town during the incident, denied the attack as an attempt to overthrow him and blamed “dissidents based in the U.S., Germany, and U.K.” and “terrorists.” Jammeh himself rose to power in a 1994 coup, unseating Gambia’s founding leader Sir Dawda Jawara. A military official said three main suspects, including the alleged ringleader, were killed while one of the conspirators led authorities to a shipping container stocked with weapons and explosives. The U.S. and nearby Sengal both “strongly condemned” the attack and U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon called for the Gambian government to “act in full respect of human rights.”