Ouagadougou (AFP) - Ivory Coast on Friday extradited three soldiers arrested on suspicion of being at the centre of the 2015 coup attempt in Burkina Faso back to their homeland, the Burkinabe interior minister said.
The three were former members of the presidential guard of ex-leader Blaise Compaore who was forced to step down from power in 2014 following a popular revolt.
"Those arrested are what we call the 'hard core' of the attempted putsch," the minister Simon Compaore -- no relation to the ex-president -- told journalists.
He said the arrests would help speed up the investigation into the failed coup as well as another thwarted coup plot this October.
He also thanked the Ivorian authorities even as relations between the neighbouring west African countries have been strained as former president Compaore has been living in exile in Abidjan since his ouster.
On September 16 last year, soldiers of the elite presidential guard stormed a cabinet meeting and took hostage the government and the country's transition president Michel Kafando and proclaimed a coup d'etat. But loyalist members of the army put an end to the putsch a week later.
The minister said the three soldiers arrested for allegedly taking part in the coup were Roger Koussoube, Mohamed Zerbo and Wekouri Kosse.
The former deputy chief of the presidential guard Moussa Nebie, known as "Rambo", and two other Burkinabe nationals who had sought refuge in Ivory Coast were sent back to Ouagadougou in February.