Ex-intelligence chief shot dead hours after Guinea Bissau elections

Electoral offciers count ballot papers at the polling station on March 18, 2012 in Guinea Bissau.

Story highlights

  • Djalo was shot seven times, officials say
  • Elections are held without incident
  • The results will be announced in about a week
The former head of intelligence of Guinea Bissau was shot dead in the capital late Sunday, hours after the peaceful conclusion of the country's presidential elections.
Col. Samba Djalo was shot seven times, officials said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and authorities did not have a motive, said Interior Minister Fernando Gomes.
Djalo served as the country's intelligence chief during a time when many key political figures were assassinated, including a high-ranking parliamentarian and an independent presidential candidate.
He was overthrown along with then-Army Chief of Staff Jose Amora Induta in a mutiny in April 2010. Both were jailed briefly but later released, and no charges were filed.
Meanwhile, elections were held without incident Sunday in the west African nation, with nine candidates vying for the seat of the president. About 180 international observers oversaw the voting.
The elections were triggered by the January death of President Malam Bacai Sanha at age 64 after a long illness.
Sanha became president in September 2009, months after the assassination of President Joao Bernardo Vieira.
Guinea-Bissau's history has been marked by military coups and attempted coups since the nation of 1.6 million gained independence from Portugal in 1974. Those conflicts ravaged the nation's infrastructure and economy and left it among the poorest in the world.
Despite Sanha's coming to power in what international observers deemed a fair and peaceful election, his tenure was marked by turmoil among the country's military and political leadership.
To date, no democratically-elected president has served a full, five-year term.
Guinea Bissau will announce the results of Sunday's elections in about a week.