Army rebels seize town in southern Peru

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The Independent US

Some 60 armed soldiers led by a rebel commander took over Toquepala, a mining town in southern Peru, yesterday, vowing to "safeguard the honour of the ... army" and refusing to recognise the authority of President Alberto Fujimori.

Some 60 armed soldiers led by a rebel commander took over Toquepala, a mining town in southern Peru, yesterday, vowing to "safeguard the honour of the ... army" and refusing to recognise the authority of President Alberto Fujimori.

"I will only lay down my arms when the chain of command is legitimate and there is a president who has been truly elected by the people to whom I would swear 'subordination and valour,'" Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso said in a fax addressed to the Peruvian nation.

The uprising came after Mr Fujimori fired his armed forces chief and three other top generals in a bid to strengthen his grip on power, under challenge from his fugitive former spymaster, Vladimiro Montesinos.

There was no immediate reaction on the uprising from the president. (Reuters)

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