The failure of a coup attempt over the weekend on the breakaway Comoros island of Anjouan has raised optimism among pro-union parties that a referendum across the archipelago on a new constitution to end the country's secessionist crisis will go ahead in December as scheduled.

Reports from the Comoros Islands say there has been gunfire in the capital, Moroni. The French news agency, AFP, said it lasted for about an hour in the north of the town. It followed days of protest against alleged police corruption and unpaid salaries.