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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 May 2007, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Guinea's defence minister sacked
Guinean soldiers stand guard on the streets of the capital, Conakry (file picture)
Soldiers say they were promised a pay rise after a 1996 army mutiny
Guinea's President Lansana Conte has sacked Defence Minister Arafan Camara and army chief Gen Kerfalla Camara, national radio has announced.

The move follows days of rioting by soldiers demanding better working conditions and the re-instatement of military leaders sacked after a coup.

General Bailo Diallo, a retired former head of Guinea's ground forces, has been named as the new defence minister.

Six people have died in the violence in the capital Conakry and other towns.

A total of five top army commanders have been replaced.

Soldiers flooded the streets surrounding the capital's main army base and broke out in cheers at the news of the dismissals.

"Conte has responded to an important demand of the Guinean army," said Lt. Ibrahima Bah, one of the soldiers involved in the mutiny. "General Bailo is a high-ranking officer who is worthy of our respect. He has integrity and is responsible."

Rioting began 10 days ago when the soldiers alleged President Lansana Conte had gone back on his pledge to increase their wages after an army mutiny in 1996.

The army has supported Mr Conte's rule since he seized power in a bloodless coup in 1984 and keeping the military content is seen as key to his bid to stay in power.

Guinea was the scene of violent protests earlier this year as people called for the ailing president to step down.




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