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Mutinous troops in restive Burkina Faso arrested President Roch Marc Christian Kabore on Monday and detained him in army barracks a day after staging an uprising, security sources told AFP.
Soldiers at several army bases across the West African country rebelled on Sunday, demanding the sacking of the military top brass and more resources to fight a bloody jihadist insurgency.
Later in the day gunshots were heard near Kabore's private residence in the capital Ouagadougou, and witnesses reported seeing a helicopter above it.
"President Kabore, the head of parliament and the ministers are effectively in the hands of the soldiers" at the Sangoule Lamizana barracks in the capital Ouagadougou, a security source said, with another source confirming the arrest.
The situation was tense and confused in the capital, where mobile internet had been cut on Sunday, making it difficult to verify rumours of a coup in progress.
An AFP journalist said around 10 hooded troops had posted themselves in front of the national broadcaster RTB on Monday, but it was not immediately clear if they were from the mutineers or had been sent in by the government.
Kabore, first elected in 2015 before winning re-election five years later on campaign vows he would prioritise the fight against the jihadist insurgency, has faced rising public anger about the failure to stop the bloodshed.
A group of protesters supporting the soldiers set up makeshift roadblocks on several main streets in the capital before being dispersed by police, AFP journalists said.
There have been several coups or attempted coups in Burkina Faso. In neighbouring Mali -- where the insurgency began before crossing the border -- the military toppled the civilian government in 2020.
The latest volatility in Burkina Faso began on Sunday morning when gunfire was heard at numerous military bases, including two in Ouagadougou.
The rebellious troops presented a list of demands, which emphasised the need for a better anti-jihadist strategy, but did not mention trying to oust Kabore.
"We want adequate resources for the battle" against Islamist extremists, a soldier from the Sangoule Lamizana base in Ouagadougou said in a voice recording received by AFP.
The disaffected soldiers also wanted top generals to be "replaced", better care for wounded troops and more support for the families of soldiers killed in battle, the spokesman for the mutinous troops added in the anonymous recording.
Talks between representatives of the soldiers and Defence Minister General Barthelemy Simpore failed to make headway, a government source said.
On Saturday before signs of soldier mutinies, police used tear to disperse banned protests against the government's anti-jihadist strategies, arresting dozens.
Then on Sunday, demonstrators set fire to the headquarters of the ruling party.
Before reports of the president's arrest, the government had denied an "army takeover".
In response to the unrest, authorities declared an overnight curfew from 8:00 pm (2000 GMT) Sunday "until further notice" and the education ministry said schools would be closed Monday and Tuesday.
The Sangoule Lamizana camp where Kabore is being held also houses a military prison where General Gilbert Diendere -- a former right-hand man to deposed president Blaise Compaore -- is serving a 20-year term for an attempted coup in 2015.
Diendere is also on trial for his alleged part in the 1987 assassination of the country's revolutionary leader, Thomas Sankara, during a putsch that brought Compaore to power.
Compaore, overthrown by a popular uprising in 2014, fled to Ivory Coast, and is being tried in absentia for the assassination.
Around 2,000 people have died, according to an AFP tally, while around 1.5 million people are internally displaced, according to the national emergency agency CONASUR.
© 2022 AFP
The haute couture week in Paris opened under another cloud of mourning on Monday following the death of designer Thierry Mugler, the latest in a string of big-name fashion industry deaths.
Last week's menswear shows in the French capital had already seen a highly emotional moment when Louis Vuitton presented the final collection by Virgil Abloh, who died from cancer in November at 41.
Its previous fashion week in October included a memorial show to Alber Elbaz, the Israeli designer who died aged 59 from Covid-19 five months earlier, having only recently launched his new label AZ Factory after years at the head of Lanvin.
This coming Sunday will see another memorial show -- to Pierre Cardin -- who died at 98 in December 2020.
The latest loss is Mugler, who died suddenly on Sunday from "natural causes" at 73, according to his Facebook page.
He was a central figure when the fashion industry was in full pomp in the 1980s and 1990s, surrounded by celebrities and supermodels, and bringing wild extravagance to the catwalk -- from full-body robotic armour to the Venus oyster gown that was recently resurrected by Cardi B.
His bold silhouettes helped define the power-dressing look of the 1980s with the inverted triangle of wide shoulders and tight hips that he placed on pop icons like Grace Jones and David Bowie.
'Beauty more than ever'
Mugler -- full name Manfred Thierry Mugler -- stepped away from high fashion in 2003 but continued to collaborate with stars such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga for their shows.
And he came out of retirement in 2019 to create Kim Kardashian's show-stopping "wet look" dress at the Met Gala.
"Rest in peace," Beyonce's website posted with a photo of Mugler.
He had shown no sign of slowing down in recent months.
His perfume, Angel, remained among the top-selling in the world, and his career retrospective, Couturissime, was touring the world (it is currently on its last leg in Paris).
He told the Business of Fashion magazine just a few months ago that he was still hard at work, saying he wanted to be "even more radical, to be more pure, just to live in beauty, and fight for beauty more than ever."
Continuing with Covid
Meanwhile, the show must go on, with many haute couture labels determined to return to the runway this week despite surging in Covid cases in France, which just last Tuesday had a record of nearly 465,000 infections over a 24-hour period.
More than half -- 15 of 29 -- are holding live shows, according to the official calendar, including big names like Dior, Chanel and Jean-Paul Gaultier, up from just a handful last year.
There were some half-hearted efforts at social-distancing during the menswear shows last week -- and vaccine passes are required throughout.
But some labels remain nervous.
Couture brand Julien Fournie had initially planned to hold a traditional runway show on Tuesday, but replaced it with a digital presentation at the last minute.
"I feel caught in the crossfire," its director Jean Paul Cauvin told AFP, fearing that a live show would create "an haute couture cluster".
© 2022 AFP
Three monkeys have been found and killed after a truck carrying 100 primates to a laboratory crashed, allowing them to escape and triggering a police hunt.
The vehicle turned in front of an oncoming dump truck near Danville, Pennsylvania, on Friday en route to a lab in Florida.
Police said on Twitter Friday that "a small number of monkeys may have fled the crash scene into the surrounding area."
By Saturday night, police said all 100 monkeys had been accounted for.
Local news site WNEP reported that the escaped monkeys were euthanized, citing the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC told WNEP the monkeys landed Friday in New York and were originally from Mauritius.
It was previously believed that four monkeys were missing after the crash.
WNEP said a police helicopter with thermal cameras was used to track down the cynomolgus monkeys, while officers on the ground used powerful flashlights.
Pennsylvania State Police released an image of one primate perched in a tree off Route 54.
Cynomolgus monkeys -- also known as long-tailed macaques -- have recently been in demand for research into vaccines against viruses.