Blasts, gunfire rock renegade Comoro island: Radio

March 25th, 2008 - 1:38 pm ICT by admin  

Johannesburg, March 25 (DPA) Explosions and gunfire broke out Tuesday morning on the renegade Comoro island of Anjouan, signalling the beginning of an invasion by African Union and central government troops, radio reports said. Colonel Mohamed Bacar and his supporters took over the Indian Ocean island off Mozambique in May, and Bacar declared himself president after winning election in June in voting not recognized by the central government of the archipelago nation.

The African Union dispatched 1,500 soldiers from Tanzania, Senegal, Sudan and Libya to intervene in the dispute.

The assault, reported on South African radio, began a day after Comoros President Ahmed Sambi ordered an assault to retake Anjouan.

The island nation, located on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar and Mozambique, has been plagued by 19 coups and coup attempts since its 1975 independence from France.

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