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Bolivia's Morales Vows Tough Punishment Over Missile Destruction


Incoming Bolivian President Evo Morales is pledging to launch an investigation into allegations that military officials worked with the United States to destroy shoulder-fired missiles owned by the Bolivian army.

Mr. Morales Wednesday described the move as treason, saying disarming a country and its armed forces is a crime. He previously filed a legal complaint against outgoing President Eduardo Rodriguez over the order.

President Rodriguez says he authorized the missiles' destruction, but not their transfer to the United States. The president Tuesday fired Army chief General Marcelo Antezana over the matter and Defense Minister Gonzalo Mendez resigned.

Washington has previously denied charges of a secret, U.S.-led operation to remove the missiles from Bolivia. The United States said Wednesday it complied in good faith with a Bolivian government request for assistance in disposing of outdated arms.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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