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Gambia to Probe Coup Plot, Arrests More Soldiers

FILE - Gambian President Adama Barrow leaves the Elysee Palace after a meeting with French leaders in Paris, March 15, 2017.

The Gambia on Tuesday sworn in an "investigative panel" to probe last week's coup bid to overthrow the government of President Adama Barrow and arrested more soldiers.

The 11-member investigative panel, which has 30 days to complete its work, was drawn from the justice ministry, office of national security and the armed forces. The rest are from the police and intelligence services.

Last Wednesday, the government said it had foiled a coup attempt one day prior and detained some military personnel.

The government said it had arrested two military officers — a captain and lieutenant — over the weekend who are ''helping investigators unearth allegations of plans to overthrow the government of President Adama Barrow," government spokesman Sankareh said in a statement Monday.

Authorities said five others soldiers are in custody with at least two other persons accused of playing a role in the failed coup attempt still at large.

Momodou Sabally, a former minister of presidential affairs under ex-leader Yahya Jammeh, is also in detention following his appearance in a video where he suggested that the current president would be overthrown before the next local elections.

Sabally's United Democratic Party has called for his immediate release.

The Gambia, along with its fragile democracy is still scarred by a brutal 22-year rule under Jammeh.

West Africa has witnessed a series of military takeovers since 2020 - in Mali, Guinea and most recently Burkina Faso.