The military in Gabon has launched a coup to seize power from the President Ali Bongo-led government.
Internet services have been shut down in the country as the soldiers took control of the national radio station in the early hours of Monday to read a short statement announcing a “National Restoration Council”.
Reports say the military has also imposed a curfew in Gabon’s capital of Libreville with tanks and armed vehicles on the streets.
President Bongo took over power in 2009. He reportedly suffered a stroke in October and received treatment in Morocco.
Mr Bongo sought to put an end to the rumours about his health with a New Year message in which he said he was feeling fine.
Soldiers said they had been disappointed by the message, calling it “a pitiful sight” and a “relentless attempt to cling onto power.”
Reuters quotes a witness as saying that a crowd of about 300 people in support of the military action have gathered at the radio station seized by military officers but the army is firing tear gas to disperse them.