Guinea Treasury chief assassinated

The head of Guinea's Treasury was gunned down as she drove home in what her colleagues said was a brazen assassination aimed at silencing her for launching an investigation into the disappearance of millions in state funds.

The forensic doctor who examined the body of Aissatou Boiro after she was brought to the mortuary on Friday night said she had two bullet wounds to the chest and died of internal bleeding.

"She was hit by two bullets in the heart, and died from haemorrhaging. The bullets were shot from a close distance, which makes it clear that they were intended to kill her," said the doctor at the Ignace Deen Hospital in the capital Conakry.

The government issued a statement broadcast on state television last night, saying Ms Boiro had been killed by a group of men wearing military uniforms.

Security forces had launched a manhunt to try to find and arrest the gunmen, the statement said.

The shooting happened on Friday evening in the Kipe neighbourhood of Conakry. Resident Siradiou Soiree said he was making a cup of tea when he heard shooting outside.

"We saw a car driving in all directions before it eventually came to a halt. We saw a woman covered in blood, apparently dead, who was being loaded into a car to be taken to the hospital," he said.

Ms Boiro was appointed to head the country's treasury eight months ago by President Alpha Conde.

Guinea has a long history of allowing officials to pillage its treasury. During the last years of ex-president Lansana Conte's rule, treasury employees said they would routinely see the president's convoy drive up to their building and leave with bags of cash.

Ms Boiro had zero tolerance for corruption and was intent on putting an end to the mismanagement of state funds, said two of her colleagues. She had launched an investigation into the loss of 13 million francs (£1.1 million) which went missing from the state coffers.

"The National Treasury is a sensitive department. We don't name just anyone to lead it. She was an honest woman who was against all forms of corruption. But in Guinea all of the cases of large-scale embezzlement happen at the treasury department," said economist Idrissa Camara, a former official at the treasury.

"She became inconvenient for certain economic predators who are in the government."

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