Guinea’s President Alpha Condé’s faith is unclear after an unverified video showed him surrounded by soldiers, who said they had seized power.
They appeared on national TV claiming to have dissolved the government.
But in a counter statement, the defence ministry said the attempted takeover had been thwarted by the presidential guard.
This follows hours of heavy gunfire near the presidential palace in the capital, Conakry.
The West African country of Guinea is rich in natural resources but years of unrest and mismanagement mean it is one of the world’s poorest countries.
The TV address featured nine unnamed soldiers, several draped in the red, gold and green national flag, who said they had taken over because of rampant corruption, mismanagement and poverty.