The director of Central African Republic state radio says armed gunmen surrounded the station and attempted an attack but were repelled by security forces overnight.

Eloi Bellonghot said Tuesday that a dozen attackers scaled fences and threatened to take gendarmes hostage, but a gendarme with a grenade forced the attackers to flee.

A National Gendarme official said the attackers were likely trying to make a political statement. Officials have opened an investigation into the attack.

Presidential and legislative elections are slated for Oct. 18 in Central African Republic, nearly two years after the country erupted into widespread sectarian violence between Muslim rebels who had overthrown the president and the Christian militiamen who opposed their rule.

A transitional government was put into place in January 2014.