Two politicians allied to Guinea-Bissau's ousted regime were severely beaten by soldiers after their arrest in the wake of an alleged coup, government and family members said Tuesday.
Yancuba Djola Indjai and Sylvestre Alves were "left for dead" some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the capital one day after being seized by soldiers, a family member told AFP.
Alves was seen in hospital by AFP suffering from multiple leg fractures while Indjai has gone into hiding in "a critical state" awaiting evacuation abroad, said the relative.
On Tuesday the government published a statement saying that it "distances itself from isolated acts of physical brutality perpetrated against certain politicians, notably Yancuba Djola Indjai and Sylvestre Alves".
Several arrests were made on Monday, mostly at the headquarters of former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior's ruling party which was ousted in an April 12 coup.
A hunt was still under way for others suspected of involvement in an attack on an elite military unit on Sunday morning which transition authorities have said was a coup bid backed by former colonial power Portugal.
They say its aim was to bring Gomes Junior back to power.
The coup ringleader is believed to be Captain Pansau N'Tchama, an ally of the ousted regime and former head of a commando unit that assassinated president Joao Bernardo Vieira in 2009.
He returned last week from Portugal where he had been undergoing military training since July 2009, security sources said.
The alleged coup has caused further turmoil in the west African nation which has suffered chronic instability since independence from Portugal in 1974 due to conflict between the army and state.
No president has ever completed a full term in office.
Coups, counter-coups and regular assassinations have also made the unstable nation an attractive destination for South American druglords seeking a hub to move cocaine into Europe.
A transitional administration has taken over following the most recent coup, with elections planned for an unspecified date in 2013.© ANP/AFP