There is confusion tonight over an attempted coup in the West African state of Guinea. Mutinous soldiers announced they had taken control following the death of President Lansana Conte. They said they had suspended the constitution, and ordered government ministers and military commanders to a military base “for their safety.” However, the head of the army said the plotters had no support, and the prime minister insisted his government was still in power. President Conte had ruled Guinea since seizing power himself in 1984. He was a half-blind diabetic chain-smoker who had survived several assassination attempts over the years. His death leaves a power vacuum in Guinea. The coup leaders cited widespread corruption and a catastrophic economy as the reasons for their actions.