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Central African Republic Gov't Warns of Coup Attempt

The Central African Republic's government says it has foiled a plot to overthrow President Francois Bozize.

Speaking on state radio late Saturday, Public Safety Minister Jules Bernard Ouande said a group of soldiers and politicians were planning to launch a coup attempt on March 15.

He said the plotters had planned for the distribution of weapons and were preparing to cut telephone lines.

The minister did not identify the suspects but said the plot included troop reinforcements at the home of former President Ange Felix Patasse.

President Bozize seized power from Mr. Patasse in a March 2003 military coup.

In an interview with the French news agency AFP, Mr. Patasse denied any involvement in a coup plot.

He said the government may be trying to prevent him from running in next month's presidential elections, due on April 25.

Mr. Patasse led the C.A.R. from 1993 to 2003.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.