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Fiji troops move on police compound
Fears of a coup grow after troops move in on a police compound in the capital.
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2006 05:18 GMT
Everyone is watching for Commander
Bainimarama's next move
Fijian soldiers are reported to have taken over key police compounds in the capital, Suva, as the commander of the country’s armed forces appeared to be preparing to carry out his threats to overthrow the government.
 
The city was said to be calm but tense on Monday, while the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has insisted he remains in charge.
Qarase has been engaged in a long-running stand-off with Commodore Frank Bainimarama, the country’s military chief, who has accused to government of corruption.
 
A military take over would be Fiji’s fourth coup in two decades.

A military take over would be Fiji’s fourth coup in two decades

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At one compound housing the police tactical unit troops were reported to have begun removing weapons and loading them onto a military truck.
 
However police officials denied the army had taken control of the facility.
 
"The army asked to examine what weapons this unit has. It is not violent," Moses Driver, the assistant police commissioner, told Fiji radio.
 
"It is a just a friendly visit," Driver said. "There is no confrontation of any sort."
 
One of the military’s key demands has been the disbanding of the police tactical unit – the only part of the Fijian police force allowed to carry weapons.
 
Green light
 
On Friday Bainimarama said Qarase had missed a deadline to agree to military demands, adding that he had taken that as a green light to go ahead with a "clean up" of the country’s government.
 
Bainimarama has said any take over would be peaceful, but has warned neighbouring countries – particularly Australia and New Zealand – to stay out of Fiji’s internal affairs.
 
Earlier on Monday more than 100 soldiers in battle uniform paraded inside the military's Queen Elizabeth Barracks headquarters on a hilltop overlooking Suva.
 
About five trucks full of soldiers later left the barracks in the direction of Suva's airport but there were no signs the military had begun taking control of the capital.
Source:
Agencies
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