Burkina Faso protestors stage “Black Spring”

Protesters angry at plans to allow Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year-rule have set fire to parliament, city hall and the ruling party headquarters.

About 1,500 people breached the security cordon at parliament, AFP reports. Protesters were setting fire to documents and stealing computer equipment and cars outside the building were also set on fire, it reports.

A huge crowd is surging towards the presidential palace and the main airport has been shut.

MPs have suspended a vote on changing the constitution to allow Mr Compaore to stand for re-election next year.

Five people have been killed in the protests, among the most serious against Mr Compaore’s rule, reports BBC Afrique’s Yacouba Ouedraogo from the capital.

The military had earlier fired live bullets at protesters who had stormed parliament, he says.

Dozens of soldiers have reportedly joined the protests, including a former defence minister, General Kouame Lougue.

The main opposition leader, Zephirin Diabre, has called on the military to side with “the people”.

Mr Compaore’s whereabouts are unknown, but he has appealed for calm via Twitter.

He first took power in a coup in 1987, and has won four disputed elections since then.

State television has gone off air after protesters stormed the building housing it and ransacked it, Reuters quotes a witness as saying.

Credit: BBC