Gunfire erupted in Burundi on Thursday, hours after an army general announced a coup and the President’s spokesman dismissed it as a “joke.”

Political infighting sparked fears that Burundi would plunge into ethnic violence — with the central African nation’s history of civil war making it especially vulnerable to deep divisions.

Sporadic gunshots rocked Bujumbura, the capital, following an attempt to overthrow President Pierre Nkurunziza on Wednesday.

But the President downplayed any coup attempt, urging citizens not to panic.

“We ask all the people of Burundi to stay calm in the face of the impostor,” Nkurunziza tweeted. “The situation is under control and the constitutional order has been safeguarded.”- CNN