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Burkina Faso's Parliament Burned As President Faces Ouster

Anger at the president of Burkina Faso's attempt to lengthen his stay in power has boiled over in the form of protests and the burning of parliament.

Burkina Faso's Parliament Burned As President Faces Ouster
Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Protests in Burkina Faso's capital appear to have come to a head, as demonstrators set fire to the parliament building. 

They're angry over President Blaise Compaore's attempt to lengthen his stint in power by proposing a change to the constitution, which would allow him to run for a fifth term. His current term is due to end in 2016. (Video via BBC)

It's still a developing situation, and there is a lot of information coming out of the capital, Ouagadougou, but there are multiple reports the move to amend the constitution has been dropped. (Video via Euronews)

Now the military has stepped in. 

IMAD MESDOUA VIA AL JAZEERA: "I was listening to Burkina, Burkina Faso radio earlier today and they were discussing already a transition where a former general, Gen. Kwamé Lougué, would possibly take the reigns. He's seen as a facilitator amongst different parties, widely respected."

Protesters burning parliament and storming other government buildings is just the latest and most visible manifestation of deep-lying frustrations. 

The BBC reports unrest started a year ago and was largely driven by the high cost of living in the West African country. 

Burkina Faso is an ally of the United States, which criticized the move to amend the country's constitution in a statement on Thursday and urged the country to find a peaceful solution.  

The violent clashes between protesters and security forces have already left at least five people dead, along with multiple outlets reporting looting along with the violence. (Video via France 24)

President Blaise Compaore has held power in Burkina Faso since a coup in 1987 toppled his predecessor. He fled the capital on one occasion before, during protests in 2011 that later quieted. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.