Prime minister: Coup thwarted in Sao Tome and Principe

SAO TOME, Sao Tome and Principe (AP) — Security forces in the Central African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe have killed four people and detained two others including politician Delfim Neves following a thwarted coup attempt, officials said Friday.

Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada said authorities believe the men were in search of weapons when they entered military barracks and abducted one hostage, who was later freed. Authorities were investigating whether the men received any support from within the military, he added.

“It’s not a robbery; it’s not a theft,” Trovoada said. “It’s an attack with weapons of war on the country’s armed forces and we have to solve this problem.”

“Certain individuals do not conform to the will of the ballot box and the will of the sovereign people, and thus tarnish the country,” he added.

The attack comes about two months after Sao Tome and Principe held parliamentary elections, which were won by Trovoada’s Independent Democratic Action (ADI) party. He was sworn in as prime minister earlier this month.

Neves, of the Democratic Convergence Party, has run for president twice and had contested the results of last year’s race.

The archipelago of Sao Tome and Principe is located near the equator about 350 kilometers (217 miles) off the western coast of Africa near Gabon. About 225,000 people live in the former Portuguese colony, according to World Bank statistics.

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