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Mercenary Takes Backstage Role

A veteran French mercenary who led a coup in this African island nation slipped into his familiar backstage role Monday with the announcement of a power-sharing arrangement among three opposition politicians.

The three will lead the country until elections are held in early 1996, another of the men who led the coup announced.

The announcement on Radio Comoros by Capt. Combo Ayouba appeared intended to reassure both foreign governments who have condemned Thursday’s coup and Comorians frustrated that outsiders were controlling their fate.

But Said Ali Kemal, one of two interim co-presidents named Monday, said more than a dozen mercenaries led by Bob Denard, a veteran mercenary from France, would remain on the islands to keep order until elections are held.

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