Niger Army spokesman Colonel Major Amadou Adramane speaks
Niger Army spokesman Colonel Major Amadou Adramane speaks during an appearance on national television, after President Mohamed Bazoum was held in the presidential palace, in Niamey, Niger, on July 26, 2023 in this still image taken from video. Image Credit: ORTN/REUTERS

Niamey: Soldiers in Niger seized control in the West African nation after the country's president, Mohamed Bazoum, was detained by the presidential guard.

The security forces have "put an end to the regime" due to "the continuous degradation of the security situation, the bad economic and social governance," Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane said in a statement on state broadcaster Tele Sahel late Wednesday.

All institutions have been suspended and parliament dissolved, according to the statement made on behalf of the National Council for the Protection of the Homeland, which referred to itself by the French acronym CNSP.

The group, which said it represents all the units of the security and defense forces, also imposed a curfew between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Land and air borders are closed until the situation stabilizes, Abdramane said. "It's asked of all foreign parties not to interfere."

It wasn't immediately clear who was the leader of the coup that followed the arrest of Bazoum and the occupation of the presidential palace earlier Wednesday by the presidential guard.

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The move sparked ire among Niger's neighbours and international partners including France, the US and the European Union.

The US State Department urged "elements of the presidential guard to release President Bazoum from detention and refrain from violence," according to a statement on its website.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday spoke with President Bazoum, signaling US support for him as the democratically elected president.

"We call for his immediate release," Blinken said. "We condemn any effort to seize power by force."

The whereabouts of Bazoum, who came to power two years ago in the first democratic transfer of power in Niger since independence from France in 1960, wasn't clear late Wednesday.