Burkina Faso president declares state of emergency

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Burkina Faso's Parliament Burned as President Faces Ouster

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) - Burkina Faso's leader of nearly three decades declared a state of emergency Thursday, hours after protesters who oppose his bid for another term stormed the parliament and set part of it on fire, marking the greatest threat to his rule since he himself seized power in a coup.

It was not immediately clear where President Blaise Compaore was following the announcement that also called for an end to the demonstrations. At least one person was killed and several others were wounded earlier in the day amid the melee, authorities said.

Army Gen. Honore Traore, the joint chief of staff, later announced that a curfew would be in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The government and parliament also have been dissolved, he said.

In a concession to the opposition, Compaore agreed Thursday to withdraw a bill from consideration in the parliament that would have allowed him to extend his 27-rule through a fifth term in office.

While demonstrators managed to block the highly controversial parliamentary vote, the violent opposition unleashed Thursday underscored the threat Compaore now faces as frustrations mount in one of the world's poorest countries. In a sign of the growing unrest, crowds also attacked the homes of government ministers and looted shops in the country's second-largest city, Bobo Dioulasso, witnesses said.

"It is over for the regime!" and "We do not want him again!" shouted demonstrators when they heard that the vote on term limits had been stopped.

Flames enveloped the main building in the parliament complex, and many lawmakers fled to a nearby hotel.

"It is difficult to say what happens next, but things are out of control because the demonstrators do not listen to anyone," said Ablasse Ouedraogo, an opposition lawmaker.

The images of cars on fire and plumes of black smoke in the capital of Ouagadougou prompted alarm from the international community. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General, said he "deplores the deterioration of the security situation," according to a statement.

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Burkina Faso president declares state of emergency
People gather near a government building as they await the announcement of a new interim leader in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. An army general stepped into the vacuum left in Burkina Faso on Friday by the resignation President Blaise Compaore, who ended his 27-year reign under pressure from violent protests. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)
In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, protesters shout out as they go on a rampage near the parliament building in Burkina Faso as people protest against their longtime President Blaise Compaore who seeks another term, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Protesters stormed the parliament Thursday, dragging furniture and computers onto the street and setting the main chamber ablaze, in the most significant challenge to the president’s rule during his 27 years in power. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)
People gather near a government building as they await the announcement of a new interim leader in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. An army general stepped into the vacuum left in Burkina Faso on Friday by the resignation President Blaise Compaore, who ended his 27-year reign under pressure from violent protests. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)
People gather near a government building as they await the announcement of a new interim leader in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. An army general stepped into the vacuum left in Burkina Faso on Friday by the resignation President Blaise Compaore, who ended his 27-year reign under pressure from violent protests. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut)
FILE - In this file photo Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, Burkina Faso Police clash with protesters as they protest against their longtime president that seeks another term in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Protesters stormed Burkina Faso's parliament Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, dragging furniture and computers onto the street and setting the main chamber ablaze, in the most significant challenge to the president's rule during his 27 years in power. (AP Photo/Theo Renaut, File)
Burkinese Lieutenant-Colonel and interim leader Isaac Zida (C) chairs a meeting between the army and opposition leaders in Ouagadougou on November 2, 2014. Zida, named Burkina Faso's interim leader by the army after the deposing of the long-serving president last week, held talks with opposition leaders but no details about the discussions taking place in central Ouagadougou have been disclosed. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
An opposition supporters shouts during a protest at the Place de la Nation in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, on November 2, 2014, calling for the departure of the military. UN envoy for west Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas called for a civilian transition in Burkina Faso after the ouster of president Blaise Compaore, threatening sanctions if the military holds on to power in the west African country. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man holds up a placard that reads in French, 'Zida get out', referring to Isaac Zida, a high-ranking officer named by the military to lead the country's transition, during a protest at the Place de la Nation in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, on November 2, 2014, calling for the departure of the military. UN envoy for west Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas called for a civilian transition in Burkina Faso after the ouster of president Blaise Compaore, threatening sanctions if the military holds on to power in the west African country. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
People protest at the Place de la Nation in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, on November 2, 2014, calling for the departure of the military. UN envoy for west Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas called for a civilian transition in Burkina Faso after the ouster of president Blaise Compaore, threatening sanctions if the military holds on to power in the west African country. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters pose with a police shield outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn outside. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Cars and documents burn outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Burkina Faso troops shoot in the air to try to disperse protesters outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters stand outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn outside. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters stand outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn outside. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters stand outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn outside. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Documents thrown by protesters fly outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Burkina Faso troops stand outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Burkina Faso troops try to disperse protesters in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
A car burns near the parliament building in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester holds a white cloth as cars and documents burn outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
People stand in front of smoke rising from the Burkina Faso's Parliament, where demonstrators set cars on fire parked in a courtyard of the Parliament, on October 30, 2014 in Ouagadougou, as they protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building in the capital Ouagadougou ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament, according to AFP correspondents. Protesters ransacked offices, setting fire to documents and stealing computer equipment, and set fire to cars outside. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
People stand in front of smoke rising from the Burkina Faso's Parliament, where demonstrators set cars on fire parked in a courtyard of the Parliament, on October 30, 2014 in Ouagadougou, as they protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building in the capital Ouagadougou ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament, according to AFP correspondents. Protesters ransacked offices, setting fire to documents and stealing computer equipment, and set fire to cars outside. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man stands in front of a burning car, near the Burkina Faso's Parliament where demonstrators set cars on fire parked, on October 30, 2014 in Ouagadougou, as they protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building in the capital Ouagadougou ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament, according to AFP correspondents. Protesters ransacked offices, setting fire to documents and stealing computer equipment, and set fire to cars outside. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
A car burns outside the parliament building in Burkina Faso as people protest against their longtime president Blaise Compaore who is seeking another term in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Protesters stormed Burkina Faso’s parliament Thursday, dragging furniture and computers onto the street and setting the main chamber ablaze, in the most significant challenge to the president’s rule during his 27 years in power.(AP Photo/Theo Renaut)
Cars burn outside the parliament building in Burkina Faso as people protest against their longtime president Blaise Compaore whho seeks another term in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Protesters stormed Burkina Faso’s parliament Thursday, dragging furniture and computers onto the street and setting the main chamber ablaze, in the most significant challenge to the president’s rule during his 27 years in power.(AP Photo/Theo Renaut)
A protestor walks past a pool as protestors ransack the Azalai Hotel in Burkina Faso as people protest against their longtime president Blaise Compaore who is seeking another term in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Protesters stormed Burkina Faso’s parliament Thursday, dragging furniture and computers onto the street and setting the main chamber ablaze, in the most significant challenge to the president’s rule during his 27 years in power.(AP Photo/Theo Renaut)
A car burns outside the parliament building in Burkina Faso as people protest against their longtime President Blaise Compaore who seeks another term in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Protesters stormed Burkina Faso’s parliament Thursday, dragging furniture and computers onto the street and setting the main chamber ablaze, in the most significant challenge to the president’s rule during his 27 years in power.(AP Photo/Theo Renaut)
A boy attends a rally to support demonstrations in Burkina Faso, in Paris, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Protesters stormed Burkina Faso's parliament and set its main chamber ablaze Thursday in the most significant challenge ever to the president's 27-year rule in one of the world's poorest countries. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
A man holds a placard reading "Don't touch my constitution" during a rally to support demonstrations in Burkina Faso, in Paris, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Protesters stormed Burkina Faso's parliament and set its main chamber ablaze Thursday in the most significant challenge ever to the president's 27-year rule in one of the world's poorest countries. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
A man holds a placard reading "Blaise get out", a reference to Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, during a rally to support demonstrations in Burkina Faso, in Paris, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Protesters stormed Burkina Faso's parliament and set its main chamber ablaze Thursday in the most significant challenge ever to the president's 27-year rule in one of the world's poorest countries. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Troops face protestors on October 30, 2014 in Ouagadougou. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
A deputy clutching a national flag flees the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014, Angry demonstrators went on the rampage in Burkina Faso on Thursday, setting parliament ablaze in a surge of violence that forced the government to scrap a vote on controversial plans to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Burkina Faso troops face protestors on October 30, 2014 in Ouagadougou. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Burkina Faso troops face protestors on October 30, 2014 in Ouagadougou. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters stand outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn outside. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters run outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn outside. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters stand outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014 as cars and documents burn outside. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Cars and documents burn outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Cars and documents burn outside the parliament in Ouagadougou on October 30, 2014. Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Burkina Faso stormed parliament on October 30 before setting it on fire in protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
A man stands in front of a burning car, near the Burkina Faso's Parliament where demonstrators set cars on fire parked, on October 30, 2014 in Ouagadougou, as they protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building in the capital Ouagadougou ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament, according to AFP correspondents. Protesters ransacked offices, setting fire to documents and stealing computer equipment, and set fire to cars outside. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
People stand in front of smoke rising from the Burkina Faso's Parliament, where demonstrators set cars on fire parked in a courtyard of the Parliament, on October 30, 2014 in Ouagadougou, as they protest at plans to change the constitution to allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year rule. Police had fired tear gas on protesters to try to prevent them from moving in on the National Assembly building in the capital Ouagadougou ahead of a vote on the controversial legislation. But about 1,500 people managed to break through the security cordon and were ransacking parliament, according to AFP correspondents. Protesters ransacked offices, setting fire to documents and stealing computer equipment, and set fire to cars outside. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO - OCTOBER 30: People make fire during protest against President Blaise Compaore's plan to change the constitution to stay in power near the Congress for Democracy and Progress party building in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on October 29, 2014. (Photo by Lougri Dimtalba/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO - OCTOBER 30: People burn tires during protest against President Blaise Compaore's plan to change the constitution to stay in power at the streets road to Presidential palace in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on October 29, 2014. ((Photo by Lougri Dimtalba/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO - OCTOBER 30: People burn tires during protest against President Blaise Compaore's plan to change the constitution to stay in power at the streets road to Presidential palace in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on October 29, 2014. (Photo by Lougri Dimtalba/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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In a bid to restore calm, military leaders met Thursday afternoon with the influential traditional chief of the country's largest ethnic group, the Mossi, according to Jonathan Yameogo, a spokesman for the ruling party.

Burkina Faso has long been known for its relative stability in volatile West Africa, though tensions have been mounting over Compaore's plans to extend his rule.

He first came to power following the October 1987 coup against then-President Thomas Sankara, Compaore's longtime friend and political ally who ultimately was killed in the power grab.

Compaore has been elected four times since, though the opposition has disputed the results.

Earlier, police in the capital had pushed the crowds back with tear gas, but they regrouped in larger numbers, surged past police lines and broke into the parliament building.

Since coming to power in a coup, Compaore, 63, has refashioned himself as an elder statesman who brokered electoral disputes and hostage releases throughout the region.

He made no secret of his support for Charles Taylor, the Liberian warlord turned president now serving a 50-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone. The leader of Burkina Faso also has been accused of supporting rebel groups in Ivory Coast and Angola, though he later played the role as a peacemaker in Ivory Coast and elsewhere.

More recently, his government was involved in negotiating the release of several European hostages held by al-Qaida-linked militants in northern Mali. He also hosted the talks between Mali's government and separatist Tuareg rebels, leading to the agreement which made the July 2013 presidential election possible.

In 2011, Compaore encountered another crisis when multiple waves of protests washed over the country. The unrest began with students torching government buildings in several cities after a young man died in the custody of security forces, allegedly as a result of mistreatment.

Ordinary citizens took to the streets over rising food prices, and soldiers looted shops and stole cars to express their discontent over low pay. At one point in mid-April of that year, mutinous soldiers occupied the palace, forcing Compaore to flee.

But what would have spelled the end for many presidents was a mere temporary problem for Compaore, one he could maneuver his way out of by removing his security chiefs and appointing himself defense minister before returning to Ouagadougou.

Raw video below:

Raw: Burkina Faso Parliament Burns Amid Protests

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