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Presidential Palace Attackers Sought in Gambia


FILE - Gambian President Yahya Jammeh arrives for a summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Feb. 27, 2014.

FILE - Gambian President Yahya Jammeh arrives for a summit in Abuja, Nigeria, Feb. 27, 2014.

Forces loyal to the president of Gambia are going house to house in the capital, Banjul, in search of opponents responsible for the armed attack on his presidential palace this week.

President Yahya Jammeh said Thursday in a televised address that the predawn attack Tuesday was carried out by former members of the military. He insisted it was not a coup attempt against him, but an attack by what he called "terrorists." He said the military remained loyal.

The president was out of the country at the time of the incident.

The French news agency AFP quoted a Gambian intelligence source who said dozens of Jammeh's political opponents had been arrested, interrogated and jailed. The government has not publicly confirmed that.

Jammeh seized power in the former British colony at age 29 in 1994. Human rights activists say he has long targeted political opponents, journalists and homosexuals.

The United Nations has condemned the violence in Gambia. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has called for a transparent investigation of Tuesday's events.

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