Guinea-Bissau leader pardons accused in coup try

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BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau (AP) — Guinea-Bissau's new president has pardoned a group of soldiers who were convicted in a failed 2012 coup attempt, according to a decree read out on the radio Tuesday.

Among the six soldiers pardoned Tuesday was Pansau Ntchama, the army captain accused of leading the coup plot. Other soldiers have received amnesty in recent weeks.

Authorities accused Ntchama of leading the gunmen who attacked a military base in an attempted coup, but the army fought back and the coup failed. The attack was an attempt to unseat the ruling junta, which itself had seized power months earlier, just before a runoff in a presidential election.

Guinea-Bissau has had so many coups and countercoups that no elected leader has been able to complete his term in the four decades since the country won its independence from Portugal in 1974.

But President Jose Mario Vaz took power in a peaceful election earlier this year is trying to put the country on the path to stability.

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