Conakry: Guinea's newly-installed President survived a rocket attack on his residence that left one dead on Tuesday, bringing into sharp focus the challenges he faces to stabilise the country.

Alpha Conde addressed the nation on state television hours later in a bid to appease fears that the coup-prone west African country was slipping back into violence barely half a year after he came to power.

"My house was attacked last night but I congratulate the presidential guard who fought heroically from 3:10 am until 5:00 am (local and GMT) before backup arrived," said Conde.

Heavy gunfire erupted around Conde's house in the capital Conakry's Kipe district and the President's residential compound was hit by a rocket, according to witnesses and state radio.

Presidential chief of staff Francois Fall told AFP that one member of presidential guard was killed in the fighting. Two other soldiers where injured, according to government spokesman Darus Diale Dore.

Police had closed access to the administrative Kaloum area in Conakry's centre early today.

The tension comes seven months after Conde took office following his victory over rival Cellou Dalein Diallo in the country's first democratic election since independence from France in 1958.

The 73-year-old faces the daunting task of turning around a nation plagued by half a century of political violence and where ethnicity has been systematically instrumentalised by politicians.

The election in November 2010 of Guinea's perennial political opponent won international praise as a transparent poll despite an ensuing police crackdown on protests that left seven dead and hundreds wounded.

Conde tried to reassure the population today that his grip on power was tight and that attempts to undermine his plans for reform would fail.

"Our enemies can try everything, but they cannot prevent the Guinean people's march towards democracy. Democracy has begun and it will continue, I promised you change and, God willing, change will happen," he said.

A source close to the Guinean government speaking in France said: "This is not a coup d'etat. There was no attempt to take control of roads or the airport.

"Rather, it is a warning shot, possibly aimed at criticising Alpha Conde's slowness in organising legislative elections."