Former Guinean dictator Moussa Dadis Camara was on Saturday broken out of prison by a heavily armed commando during an operation that sparked heavy gunfire in the capital Conakry.
A group of masked and heavily armed soldiers reportedly arrived at the prison at around 04h00UT and entered by force.
They declared they "had come to free Captain Dadis Camara", one source told the AFP newswire service.
Inside, the group headed towards the former leader's cell, appearing to already know its location, and took him and other detainees to an unknown location, the source said.
At least two other former officials currently on trial alongside Dadis Camara over a 2009 massacre during his presidency were also taken from the central prison.
It remains unclear whether Dadis Camara had escaped of his own free will.
'Life in danger'
According to Dadis Camara's lawyer, Jocamey Haba, "The attorney general confirmed to me that my client had been taken out of prison by heavily armed men," raising the possibility that he was taken against his will.
"I continue to think he was kidnapped. He has confidence in the justice of his country, which is why he would never try to escape," he added, referring to the trial against Camara currently under way.
The lawyer said his client's life was "in danger".
It has been led by the junta since.
Dadis Camara has been detained since going on trial in September 2022.
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