Soldiers storm Bolivian presidential palace in apparent coup attempt

Bolivia’s presidential palace has been stormed by soldiers as the country’s president warned of an unfolding “coup”.

“We are going to recover this homeland,” General Juan José Zúñiga told reporters from Murillo Square after it was taken by troops, according to the El Deber newspaper.

President Luis Arce said a “coup” was underway and demanded Gen Zúñiga stand down the troops which have taken over parts of central La Paz.

The apparent coup attempt was immediately denounced by the leaders of Mexico and Honduras.

Former president Evo Morales called on supporters of democracy to strike and block roads.

He wrote: “A group of the Challapata Special Regiment ‘Mendez Arcos’ took over Plaza Murillo with snipers.

“This seems to indicate that they prepared the coup d’état in advance.

“I ask democratically-minded people to defend the homeland from certain military groups that act against democracy and the people.”

Rumours have been swirling for days that Gen Zúñiga was on the verge of being dismissed. The military chief appeared on television on Monday and said he would arrest Mr Morales if he ran for office again next year.

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