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Soldiers Kill Guinea-Bissau President

Mutinous soldiers in Guinea-Bissau have killed President Joao Bernardo Vieira just hours after a bomb blast killed the the country's military chief.

Soldiers loyal to the slain army chief attacked the presidential palace Monday, killing President Vieira as he tried to escape. They blame the president for Sunday night's bomb attack that killed the head of the joint chiefs of staff, General Tagme Na Waie.

Soldiers have closed the capital's five private radio stations. State radio is playing traditional music but is broadcasting no news.

President Vieira was re-elected in 2005 following a civil war that drove him from office after 19 years in power. But he failed to repair relations with the nation's military.

He survived a failed coup attempt in November when soldiers attacking the presidential palace were pushed back by security forces. That battle led the interior ministry to recruit a 400-man militia to protect the president.

But those militiamen were disbanded when the armed forces command linked them to an assassination attempt on Waie last month.

Now both men are dead and Guinea-Bissau faces another unconstitutional change of power - the latest in a series of army mutinies and coups since independence from Portugal in 1974.

Regional diplomats say that instability has been made worse by Latin American drug gangs using remote airstrips along Guinea-Bissau's coastline to smuggle cocaine to Europe.