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Burkina coup leader charged with ‘crime against humanity’

Ahmed Ouoba, AFP | File photo of General Gilbert Diendéré at the presidential palace in Ouagadougou

Burkina Faso's military said Friday a general accused of leading a failed coup last month would be prosecuted on an array of charges, including "crime against humanity".

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"Eleven charges have been filed" against General Gilbert Diendere, "notably crime against humanity", Colonel Sita Sangare, in charge of military justice, told a press conference.

Diendere is accused of leading a power grab by presidential guards loyal to ousted head of state Blaise Compaore on September 17.

The poor Sahel country was brought to the brink of chaos for six days before the putsch collapsed, with its leaders admitting they lacked popular support.

The presidential guard has since been disarmed and formally disbanded.

According to government figures, 14 people were killed and 251 injured in the unrest.

Amnesty International has demanded putschist troops be punished for violence against civilians.

"(They) displayed a cold-blooded disregard for human life, killing 14 unarmed protestors and bystanders and wounding hundreds more with automatic weapons," the rights group said in a statement on Wednesday.

The country's interim government on Wednesday said that presidential and parliamentary elections initially set for October, but delayed by the failed coup, would go ahead on November 29.

(AFP)

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