Blaise Compaore, the president of Burkina Faso, said on Friday that Camara's health was in a "difficult" but not hopeless state following the assassination bid.

"The information we received from his personal doctor an hour ago is that Dadis is in a situation which is difficult but not desperate," Compaore, who has been leading mediation on the political crisis in Guinea, said in a statement.

Morocco has long been a destination for West Africa's elite to seek medical care.

Security fears

Conakry, the Guinean capital, was on high alert in the wake of the attack.

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) said it was "following with grave concern the evolving security situation in Guinea in the aftermath of the shooting incident".

The attempt on Camra's life was allegedly carried out by Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite, an aide to Camara, who went into hiding soon afterwards.

A United Nations source said one of Camara's bodyguards and a chauffeur were killed trying to protect him.

The attack happened as UN investigators in Conakry wound up their inquiry into an opposition protest crackdown on September 28, which witnesses said killed more than 150 people.

The inquiry could lead to international prosecutions of those responsible.

Protest investigated

About 50,000 people were demonstrating against the possibility of Camara running in a January 2010 election, after post-coup pledges that he would not.

The government's crackdown on protesters in September left over 150 people dead [AFP]
 
Camara said the troops responsible for the shooting were out of his control while Diakite has been accused of being a leading figure in the massacre.

Witnesses say tensions have been mounting for weeks between Camara and Diakite, who suspected that he would be made to shoulder the blame for the killings.

"This was the only way out for [Camara]," one diplomat said of the theory that Camara would try to implicate Toumba in the September 28 killings and so remove any blame from himself.

Camara took power at the head of the junta after a bloodless coup in December 2008 following the death of Lansana Conte, the former leader.