Gabon has foiled an attempted military coup and arrested several plotters just hours after they took over state radio in a bid to end 50 years of rule by President Ali Bongo's family.

The military rebel who led the thwarted coup bid on Monday was arrested and two of his commandos were killed, according to a statement by Gabon's presidency.

Another two rebels involved in the coup attempt were also taken into custody.

Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told Reuters news agency that authorities had regained control of the state broadcasting offices and a major thoroughfare in the capital Libreville, the only sites over by the officers.

Al Jazeera's Nicolas Haque reports.

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