People demonstrate near the presidential palace after soldiers arrested Burkina Faso's leaders.People demonstrate near the presidential palace after soldiers arrested Burkina Faso’s leaders. Photo: AP

Ouagadougou: Military officers have overthrown the government of Burkina Faso, plunging the West African country into chaos. The coup was apparently led by allies of the country’s longtime ruler, who was toppled in October.

Throughout Thursday morning (local time), supporters of the ousted interim president, Michel Kafando, and prime minister, Isaac Zida, assembled in protest in various neighbourhoods in the capital, yelling, “Free the hostages!” They were dispersed by warning shots from military patrols that crisscrossed the capital. The authorities ordered the country’s borders sealed, cancelled flights and imposed a curfew.

The crisis began on Wednesday evening when the two officials, as well as two ministers, were seized during a cabinet meeting.

Military guards locked Burkina Faso president Michel Kafando, pictured, the prime minister and two ministers in a room at the presidential palace.Military guards locked Burkina Faso president Michel Kafando, pictured, the prime minister and two ministers in a room at the presidential palace. Photo: Ian Langsdon

The newsroom of Radio Omega, a station that was central in reporting news of the 2014 uprising, was stormed. The journalists were forced to cut off the signal, and the offices were set on fire.