DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Gambia's president says former colonial power Britain played no role in a botched coup attempt last month, backing away from an earlier allegation.

The Dec. 30 power grab was put down by forces loyal to President Yahya Jammeh, who himself came to power in a coup in 1994.

Jammeh initially accused dissidents based in Britain, the United States and Germany of involvement.

In remarks aired on state media over the weekend, however, Jammeh said there was "no evidence of British involvement" and that no dissidents came from Britain to participate.

American officials have charged two U.S. citizens of Gambian descent in connection with the plot.

Meanwhile, opposition and rights groups have warned of a heavy-handed response in Gambia involving the arrests of coup plotters' relatives.