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Guinea-Bissau Top General Killed in Unrest - 2004-10-06

The head of the armed forces and the army spokesman in Guinea-Bissau have been killed during an army mutiny. The soldiers were apparently revolting over unpaid wages for peacekeeping duties in Liberia.

The foreign ministry in Portugal, the former colonial power in Guinea-Bissau, was the first to announce the deaths of army chief of staff and former coup leader General Verossimo Correia Seabra and army spokesman Colonel Domingos Barros.

The two were killed during a brief army revolt by several hundred soldiers early Wednesday at military headquarters in the tiny West African nation.

The communiqué said it could provide no further details and that the motives for the uprising were unclear.

But authorities in Guinea-Bissau say the renegades were soldiers angry about delays in being paid for their recent work as United Nations peacekeepers in Liberia. For assistance in these operations, the world body gives money to contributing governments, which are then responsible for paying their troops.

Most of the mutineers returned to their barracks Wednesday, while their leaders started talks with the government and a U.N. official.