World

Gambia's president accuses 'terrorist groups' of coup attempt, soldiers search capital

A giant billboard of Gambia President Yahya Jammeh sits on an empty street in Banjul Gambia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Heavy gunfire rang out Tuesday near the presidential palace in the tiny West African nation of Gambia, residents said, raising the specter of a coup attempt while the longtime ruler is out of the country. Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup when he was 29 years old, left the capital of Banjul for France on Saturday, state media reported. On Tuesday, soldiers linked to his presidential guard were believed to be involved in the fighting, according to witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. (AP Photo)

A giant billboard of Gambia President Yahya Jammeh sits on an empty street in Banjul Gambia, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Heavy gunfire rang out Tuesday near the presidential palace in the tiny West African nation of Gambia, residents said, raising the specter of a coup attempt while the longtime ruler is out of the country. Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup when he was 29 years old, left the capital of Banjul for France on Saturday, state media reported. On Tuesday, soldiers linked to his presidential guard were believed to be involved in the fighting, according to witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Witnesses say soldiers are going house-to-house in Gambia's capital following a failed coup attempt earlier this week in the tiny West African nation.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh accused "terrorist groups" of being behind the attack and alleged late Wednesday that they had received backing from some foreign countries.

The longtime leader who himself seized power in a 1994 coup had been away at the time of Tuesday's attack.

After hours of fighting, forces loyal to Jammeh's regime succeeded in getting the upper hand, killing five insurgents.

Gambia is a small sliver of a country surrounded by Senegal where human rights activists say Jammeh has targeted political opponents, journalists, and gays and lesbians.