- By Mayeni Jones, West Africa correspondent and Kathryn Armstrong in London
- BBC News
Former Guinean military leader Moussa Dadis Camara is back in prison after being taken from prison by armed men, according to his lawyer.
The group stormed a prison in the capital, Conakry, early Saturday morning, taking Captain Camara and three others.
Those arrested are currently on trial for their alleged role in the deaths of more than 150 people during a 2009 protest.
Besides Capt Camara, two other prisoners were also found.
It is unclear whether they were kidnapped or freed by their supporters.
Captain Camara’s lawyer earlier told the BBC that the former leader was arrested against his will and would never try to escape from prison because he had confidence in the Guinean justice system.
The country’s borders were closed as authorities pursued him and others captured.
Guinean Justice Minister Charles Alphonse Wright announced the escape on local radio.
“We will find them. And those responsible will be held accountable,” he said.
Gunshots were heard in Conakry before dawn. The city center was cordoned off and military vehicles were also seen on the streets.
Other survivors included Colonel Claude Pivi, a former government minister, accused of also being involved in the assassination of people at the Conakry stadium on September 28, 2009.
At least 157 people died when troops attacked protesters against military rule. Dozens of women were raped.
Colonel Pivi, Captain Camara and nine other former officials charged in the massacre have all denied the allegations against them.
Capt Camara is accused of having command responsibility over the soldiers who committed the alleged crimes.
He took power in 2008 upon the death of longtime president Lansana Conté, but he was ousted and fled the country shortly after the Conakry killings and following an assassination attempt.
The 59-year-old man lived in Burkina Faso before returning to Guinea in September 2022 to appear in court.
Guinea is currently under military rule, one of several former French colonies in West and Central Africa that have staged coups over the past three years.
The most recent occurred in 2021, when former French soldier Colonel Mamady Doumbouya led a rebellion against President Alpha Condé. Colonel Doumbouya was then sworn in as president.