The military in Burkina Faso has taken to the airwaves to declare it now controls the country, confirming that a coup has taken place – just weeks before national elections.

In the announcement aired early on Thursday on national television and radio, the statement said that the transitional government had been dissolved.

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The statement came a day after members of the elite presidential guard unit of the military arrested the transitional president and prime minister.

Fanny Noaro, a journalist based in the capital Ouagadougou, told Al Jazeera gunfire could be heard on the streets of the city.

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“There is a lot of military on the street […] there is also no information about the transitional president and prime minister and there is no information if they are dead or alive,” she said.

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Burkina Faso was due to hold elections on October 11 that many hoped would strengthen democracy.

The transitional government came to power after the president of 27 years, Blaise Compaore, was toppled late last year in a public uprising.

Source: AP