Guinea-Bissau president killed

João Bernardo “Nino” Vieira, the president of the small west African country Guinea-Bissau, has been shot dead this morning.

The BBC reports Vieira’s assassination apparently came hours after the killing of the country’s army chief, General Batista Tagme Na Waie, in a bomb explosion.

The African Union and the regional bloc Ecowas both condemned the president’s assassination. The BBC says the country’s capital city of Bissau remained calm this morning following the violence, but it remains uncertain what the political fallout from the killings will be.

Guinea-Bissau is a small coastal country that has been racked by poverty, corruption, drug smuggling and political violence since its independence from Portugal in 1974.

The Guardian has a Backgrounder providing a brief history of the country and its political turmoil.

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