The Portuguese government arrested up to 30 army officers yesterday after soldiers opposed to Portugal s colonial war in Africa tried to march on Lisbon and overthrow the government.
Troops loyal to the dictatorship of Marcello Caetano kept an armed grip on Portugal, with soldiers posted at military installations and communications centers.
Rebel officers including Lt. Col. Joao Almeida Bruno, a close friend of ousted general Antonio de Spinola and former chief of staff Francisco Costa da Gomes, said they revolted in support of Spinola.
Caetano fired Spinola last week for criticizing the government's policy of seeking to retain control of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau by continuing a 13-year-old war against revolutionary guerrilas.
Troops loyal to Caetano crushed the uprising Saturday morning without a shot, stopping about 200 rebels in a motorized column near Lisbon.
The newspaper O Seculo reported that the dissident officers were threatened with "bombardment" when they refused to surrender for several hours after returning to their barracks. Mortars were aimed but not fired at the rebels before they gave up, newsmen at the scene said.
Meanwhile, two people were reported killed and 14 injured in an unexplained blast at an army ranger camp in Lamego, which the government said had nothing to do with military unrest.
Caetano, who was reported to have some sympathy with Spinola's view that Portugal cannot win a military victory over the insurgents, fired the generals under pressure from conservative officers and Portuguese president Americo Thomaz.
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