UPDATE 3-Bissau army hold president, former premier in coup

Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:26pm GMT

* Military attacked home of poll front-runner Gomes Junior

* He and interim President Raimundo Pereira held by soldiers

* Putsch likely aimed at preventing Gomes Junior election

* AU, EU, United States, Portugal condemn army's actions (Recasts with detentions confirmed, UN Security Council, State Dept)

By Alberto Dabo

BISSAU, April 13 (Reuters) - Soldiers in Guinea-Bissau have detained the country's interim president and the former prime minister, cutting short an unfinished presidential election in West Africa's second military power grab in a month.

A military spokesman confirmed the detentions of ex-premier and presidential election front-runner Carlos Gomes Junior and interim President Raimundo Pereira, following assaults by armed soldiers on their homes on Thursday evening.

"They are well," Lieutenant-Colonel Daha Bana na Walna told reporters after a meeting at army headquarters in the capital Bissau between military officers and representatives of political parties in the small, coup-prone former Portuguese colony.

"The military chiefs suggested the idea of new presidential and legislative elections," said Agnela Regalla of the Union for Change party, one of the politicians who attended the talks.   Continued...

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