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Eritrea Coup Attempt Fails

Rebel soldiers take over state TV
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2013 6:26 AM CST
Eritrea Coup Attempt Fails
Map locates Eritrea.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Rebelling soldiers in the tiny African country of Eritrea briefly took control of state-run television yesterday, reportedly seeking to wrest control of the country from its president of 20 years. But government troops shut down the effort, which failed to spark like action from the country's people. President Isaias Afwerki's government has been dubbed the North Korea of the African continent, the New York Times notes, thanks to his iron grip on the isolated nation.

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Some 100 soldiers reportedly poured into the Ministry of Information and had its director read out a statement demanding political prisoners' freedom. It's possible they took Afwerki's daughter hostage. Now they're likely cooling their heels in jail, but experts suspect another coup attempt can't be far away. "There’s a lot of dissatisfaction within the armed forces," says one. "If this is suppressed, it won’t be the end." (Read more Eritrea stories.)

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