October 30, 2014 by dpa/NAN
Hundreds of soldiers in Burkina Faso on Thursday joined demonstrators opposing plans to extend President Blaise Compaore’s nearly three-decade rule, Radio France Internationale reported.
It said the protesters earlier stormed parliament and set it on fire.
While part of the army was helping police to repress demonstrations, about 500 soldiers from Ouagadougou’s main barracks joined protesters, asking for power to change hands on a central square.
It said the president’s brother; Francois Compaore, had been arrested at the airport when trying to leave the country.
However, Compaore’s whereabouts were not known.
It reported that national radio and television were off the air while internet services were interrupted.
Witnesses said they saw flames and smoke coming from the parliament building.
The storming of parliament was preceded by clashes with police.
Demonstrators said police fired live bullets and seriously injured several of them, following overnight clashes in which tear gas was used.
West Africa Democracy Radio in Dakar said one person had been killed during protests in Ouagadougou, and that the home of the speaker of the national assembly had been looted.
Demonstrations were reported in many parts of the country.
The city hall and the mayor’s residence were set on fire in the second-largest city Bobo-Dioulasso.
In Koudougou in the centre of the country, headquarters of the governing Congress for Democracy and Progress were razed.
CDP offices and residences of its representatives were looted in several places.
Parliament had been due on Thursday to consider amending the constitution to allow Compaore to contest elections in 2015 by extending term limits.
Demonstrators had vowed to prevent legislators from entering parliament.
Ouagadougou has seen several days of protests after opposition leader, Zephirin Diabre, called on citizens to protest against the “manipulation” of the constitution.