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Bissau rebel chief shot dead, reports Portuguese TV

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LISBON, Portugal (Reuters) -- Former military junta chief Ansumane Mane, who tried to lead an uprising against the elected Guinea-Bissau government, has been shot dead, Portuguese state television RTP reported Thursday.

RTP showed footage of the body of the former army general, who defied the government of the tiny west African state earlier this month by declaring himself head of the armed forces.

He was shot in the neck in a clash with loyalist troops near the town of Quinhamel, 20 miles north of Bissau, capital of the former Portuguese colony, television said.

No further details of the circumstances of his death were immediately available.

Mane had escaped from the capital with a few followers a week ago after his attempt at a military revolt was thwarted when the bulk of the Guinea-Bissau armed forces sided with the government in a dispute over promotions.

Since then, troops had scoured the impoverished Atlantic seaboard state looking for the man who a year ago lead a successful coup against former President Joao Bernardo Vieira.

The government of President Kumba Yalla has rounded up a number of officials from opposition parties, accusing them of conspiring with Mane.

It had said that Mane, born in neighboring Gambia, would not be harmed if captured.

The Military Junta effectively ran the country from Vieira's overthrow until Yalla took office after elections early this year. But although the junta was supposed to have been dissolved, Mane continued to refer to himself as "co-president" of the country.

Tensions between Mane and Yalla came to a head after the government ignored his advice on military promotions and Mane sought to replace the country's official military commander Verissimo Seabra, a former Junta ally.

Thousands of Bissau residents fled the city fearing a resumption of the intermittent year-long civil war that preceded Vieira's overthrow.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



RELATED STORIES:
Suspected coup plotters arrested in Guinea-Bissau, leader at large
November 26, 2000
Report: Guinea-Bissau rebel leader surrenders
November 25, 2000
Guinea-Bissau returns to normal after mutiny
November 24, 2000
Army patrols Guinea-Bissau capital after clashes with rebel troops
November 23, 2000
Bissau president stands firm in military standoff
November 21, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Guinea - Bissau Information from Stanford Library


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