A day after unrest reported in Eritrea, calm returns. Ambassador denied coup attempt

Jason Straziuso, The Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG - Calm returned to the capital of the small East African nation of Eritrea, a day after a group of soldiers allegedly made a move against the repressive regime.

The Eritrean ambassador to South Africa, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, denied that anything had happened.

"There is no sign of mutiny or coup d'état or any other signs of uprising," said Ambassador Salih Omar.

But two Eritrea experts said more than 100 dissident soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information in Asmara on Monday and read a statement on state TV saying the country's 1997 constitution would be put into force.

By late afternoon Monday there were indications the soldiers' attempt would fail. A tank sat in front of the ministry, said a Western diplomat in Eritrea.