Military vehicles and special forces were seen on the streets of the Guinean capital on Saturday as the sound of gunfire rattled out from and nearby the administrative centre, the Kaloum peninsula, four local residents told Reuters.

They said the shots were first heard around 4 a.m. local time on Saturday (0400 GMT) after which security was tightened on the streets of Conakry and the entrance to Kaloum was blocked.

"There was a lot of shooting at night around 4 a.m. and again this morning we are hearing shots," Aminata Soumah, a Kaloum resident, told Reuters by telephone.

The authorities could not immediately be reached for comment on the situation in Conakry.

A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that shots could be heard around Kaloum but declined to provide further detail.

The presidential palace and other official administrative buildings are in Kaloum and it is also where the former head of the 2008 military junta, Moussa Dadis Camara, is imprisoned along with other soldiers.

Local media, citing sources, said the insecurity in Conakry was linked to an armed attempt to break Camara and others out of prison. Reuters was not immediately able to verify this.

Guinea is governed by military leader Mamady Doumbouya, who took power in a coup in 2021 - one of eight in West and Central Africa in the last three years. Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Gabon are also run by military officers.

(writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Jason Neely, Alexandra Hudson)