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Philippine coup plot fails

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Philippine coup plot fails


A group of rebel soldiers that attempted a mutiny in the Philippine capital Manila has surrendered.

The soldiers, along with a senator and a handful of priests, were arrested as they left the hotel they had been holed up in after it was stormed by elite troops.

They had taken over the hotel after leaving court in the capital in Manila where they were on trial for a failed coup in 2003.

The Philippines is not unfamiliar with this kind of event having seen at least a dozen coup attempts since President Marcos was ousted more than 20 years ago.

Speaking shortly after the uprising was crushed, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who has survived several coup plots and impeachment bids, imposed a curfew until dawn on Friday.

The president has seen her popularity plummet in recent months due to a long-running corruption scandal.

Government forces fired teargas into the lobby of the luxury Peninsula Hotel and used an armoured personnel carrier to batter down its glass doors before storming in. There were no casualties.

Guests and staff, who had initially been kept inside, were allowed to leave shortly before the assault.

However, many journalists chose to stay to continue reporting on events as they unfolded.

Their presence and a website calling for support for the coup led some analysts to brand it a publicity stunt staged by one of the mutiny leaders, Senator Antonio Trillanes, described as a media-savvy politician.

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