Photos and videos of crowds cheering as soldiers pass by in the Gabonese capital Libreville, hours after military officers announced overturning the government in Gabon, have emerged online and on social media.
The apparent coup targets President Ali Bongo Ondimba who has been in power for 14 years and whose re-election for a third term had been announced in the early hours of Wednesday.
The Gabonese Electoral Commision CGE head Michel Stephane Bonda said Bongo's main challenger, Albert Ondo Ossa, had come in second place with 30.77%. Ondo Ossa on Tuesday having "cited irregularities" claimed victory and called on Ali Bongo to concede defeat. Bongo's team rejected Ondo Ossa's allegations of electoral irregularities.
All of that now looks far behind as the recent turn of events overshadows the announcement of Ali Bongo as winner of the election.
A statement read out on TV quoted the military as saying Bongo was under house arrest, surrounded by his family and doctors. The statement reportedly added that one of the president's sons had been arrested for "treason",
The announcement of Bongo's sacking by the military came in the middle of an overnight curfew and amid a nationwide internet shutdown, imposed by Bongo's government last week. Internet was restored on Wednesday morning after the TV address.
Gabon has been ruled by the same family - The Bongo's - for more than 55 out of its 63 years since independence from France in 1960.