The Sierra Leonean authorities are treating the clashes that left 21 people dead in the capital Freetown on Sunday as a "failed coup attempt", officials told reporters on Tuesday.
"We have opened an investigation into a failed coup attempt," said Police Commissioner William Fayia Sellu. "A group of people tried to overthrow the current government using force," he said.
"We are continuing to hunt down those who have attempted to overthrow a legitimate authority by force," he said.
"The security services are now telling me that the events of 26 November may well have been a failed coup attempt (...) These people may have intended to illegally attack and overthrow the democratically elected government of Sierra Leone", Information Minister Chernor Bah said alongside him.
The events left 21 people dead, including 14 soldiers and three assailants, he said. Thirteen soldiers and one civilian suspected of involvement in the attempt are in custody, he added.