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Tajik President Claims General Planned Coup

25 December 2004 -- Tajik President Immomali Rakhmonov has accused a general arrested in August of plotting a military coup.

Rakhmonov said yesterday on television that General Gaffor Mirzoev, in custody on charges including murder, had been planning to overthrow him.

"Weapons and explosives were kept secretly. Why? Against Whom? Why out of the law? [Gaffor Mirzoev] knew that this is a crime. That is why we should not lose our political focus, and not let such 'heroic' plans be fulfilled," he said.

Rakhmonov said the general, in custody for crimes allegedly committed while chief of the presidential guard between 1995 and earlier this year, was behind eight bomb attacks including two outside the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor's Office early this year.

Rakhmonov said thousands of weapons had been uncovered in secret caches across the country.