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Guinea-Bissau's President Pardons 2012 Coup Attempt Soldiers

FILE - Guinea-Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz speaks with journalists.

Guinea-Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz has pardoned a group of soldiers convicted for a 2012 coup attempt.

They include coup leader Pansau Ntchama, who led the soldiers in the attack on an army barracks in an attempt to seize power before a run-off presidential election could be held.

President Vaz said Tuesday he wanted to offer "an encouraging gesture of forgiveness" as he tries to reconcile all factions in the troubled West African nation.

Guinea-Bissau has gone thorough numerous coups and attempted power-grabs since the country won independence from Portugal 40 years ago.