The military in Gabon on Monday claimed it has seized power from the President Ali Bongo-led government in the country.

The BBC reports that soldiers in the West African country said they launched a coup to restore democracy.

They took control of the national radio station in the early hours of Monday to read a short statement announcing a “National Restoration Council”.

President Bongo, who took over power in 2009, reportedly suffered a stroke in October and received treatment in Morocco.

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.

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Soldiers said they had been disappointed by the message, calling it “a pitiful sight” and a “relentless attempt to cling onto power.”

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