Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 November 2023:
Sierra Leone’s senior military commanders and the minister of information today spoke at a press conference for the first time since the attempted coup last Sunday 26th November 2023.
Chernor Bah, minister of information confirmed that the armed attack at the Wilberforce military ammunition store and the freeing of over one thousand prisoners by an armed group, was an attempt to overthrow the government of President Bio.
This admission comes days after gunshots and explosions were heard in the West of the city of Freetown.
But there is no evidence the persons involved had attempted to storm or takeover key national infrastructures such as radio and television stations, electricity facilities, nor the homes of the President and senior government and security personnel.
Whether this was an attempted coup as the government has now confirmed remains questionable.
Speaking at the press conference, the military officers confirmed that several of their officers were killed in the shooting, with many of the alleged assailants either killed or arrested.
Information Minister Bah (see video below) said that the following were killed: 14 military officers, 1 police officer, 1 prison officer, and 3 of the assailants.
A woman was confirmed dead but investigations are ongoing as to how she was connected to the incident.
He also confirmed that 13 military officials and 1 civilian are in custody.
Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Peter Lavahun confirmed that APC strongman – Leatherboot, died after he was arrested in the Military facility and sustained gunshot wounds.
He said some of the assailants are on the run and called on citizens to provide any valuable information that would lead to their arrest.
Two vehicles were retrieved from the assailants around Orugu and Allen Town.
Acting Director General Sierra Leone Correctional Center Colonel Sheikh Sulaiman Massaquoi said Pademba Road and Special Court Prison were breached and inmates escaped. He however said few of the escaped inmates have turned themselves in. He said they are working to ensure they get back the inmates to the centers.
The assailants include serving Military men and former military and police officers. The Investigation is ongoing and more names will be announced later, the government said.
Information Minister Bah called on citizens to go about their normal business and continue to be law-abiding. Minister Bah said there is a bounty for those on the wanted list and the escaped inmates. Nle50,000 for the assailants and Nle10,000 for inmates.
The government has published this list of people they are say are involved in the attempted coup, almost all of whom are one way or the other connected to the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party, or the party’s northern stronghold: