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Sunday, 29 October, 2000, 17:14 GMT
Reports of Peruvian rebel seizure

Rebel soldiers in Peru have taken over a mining area in the south of the country.

A radio statement has been made by Lieutenant-Colonel Ollanta Moses Humala Tasso which said his troops were revolting against President Alberto Fujimori, who he says is no longer Peru's legitimate leader.

The vice president of the Toquepala mines , in Moquega province, has confirmed that rebels have taken over the local town's main square , and demanded food and transport. Earlier President Fujimori sacked the chief of his armed forces and three other generals.

They're said to have been close to the former intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, who was recently forced from office in a corruption scandal and is now on the run.

Correspondents said the sackings were designed to weaken Mr Montesinos' influence over the military and relieve the growing crisis in the country. Mr Montesinos was until recently a close ally of President Fujimori -- but he has been accused of involvement in a variety of offences including torture and arms-smuggling.

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