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Comoran Rebel Leader to Face Trial in French-Run Island


A prosecutor on the French-run island of Reunion says Comoran rebel leader Mohamed Bacar will be tried for illegally entering French territory after he fled a government-led assault in his African homeland.

The Reunion state prosecutor, Francois Muguet said Friday, that Bacar will also face weapons charges when he is tried Saturday. The prosecutor said at least 22 other men will be tried.

The prosecutor said Bacar can request a 15-day delay to prepare his defense.

Bacar fled the Comoran island of Anjouan Tuesday after government forces and African Union soldiers invaded to push him from power.

He took refuge on the nearby French-run island of Mayotte and was transferred to Reunion Thursday.

The Comoran government is demanding France return Bacar, but France says it is considering Bacar's request for asylum.

Comoros consists of three islands in the Indian Ocean off Africa's east coast. Each of the islands has a regional president under the country's main leader.

Bacar declared himself president of Anjouan last year after an election the central Comoran government said was illegal. He refused demands from the government and the African Union to relinquish power.

Bacar served a previous term as president of Anjouan beginning in 2001.

The Comoran government says it expects to hold new general elections on the island May 13.

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

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