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Troops Divided In Bangladesh

Troops loyal to the president of Bangladesh ringed his palace and the state-run television center Monday after he fired a popular army chief.

President Abdur Rahman Biswas charged the army chief, Lt. Gen. Abu Saleh Mohammad Nasim, of ordering troops loyal to him to march toward the capital to challenge the government.

Witnesses reported fighting between pro- and anti-government troops in at least two garrisons outside Dhaka, but no clashes were reported in the capital and it was not clear how many soldiers had rebelled.

The dispute came during an unstable time in Bangladesh, whose prime minister was forced out of office by opposition groups two months ago and replaced by a caretaker government overseeing a nationwide election June 12.

Bangladesh has had two presidents assassinated, three military coups and 18 coup attempts since it became independent in 1971.

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