PRAIA, Cape Verde, April 27 (UPI) — Authorities said 11 people were found dead Tuesday at a military barracks in a chain of islands off the African coast.
The bodies were found on the Cape Verde islands, just north of the capital of Praia, officials said. The shootings happened at the Monte Tchota base on the island of Santiago.
Eight of the 11 bodies belonged to Cabo Verdean soldiers. The other three were civilians, including two Spaniards, BBC News reported. The third civilian is believed to be a Cape Verde resident.
Investigators said it’s possible a disgruntled missing soldier is responsible for the assault. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspect has been captured.
Police said they later found a vehicle nearby with several assault rifles and ammunition inside.
Initial reports suggested the shootings may be drug-related, as Cape Verde has been known in the past as a waypoint for cocaine smugglers. Paulo Rocha, a government official, though, dismissed that possibility and said the attack was likely the result of a personal feud.
Officials also dismissed the idea that it was an attempted coup. A new regime took over Cape Verde just last week.
The soldiers and Spanish civilians were protecting and making repairs to a communications hub in the area, news media reported.
Cape Verde is a nation of about 500,000 people located about 350 miles off the coast of western Africa.