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Lesotho military commander 'preparing for a stand-off'

Tlali Kamoli is accused of destabilising the mountain country last week after he apparently plotted a coup.

FILE: Reports from Lesotho are that Tlali Kamoli has seized an unknown number of weapons from state armouries in order to prepare for offensive and defensive operations. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Lesotho military commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli has reportedly seized army weapons in preparation for a possible stand-off.

He is accused of destabilising the mountainous country last week after he apparently plotted a coup and has refused to step down as the commander of the Lesotho Defence Force.

Reports from Lesotho are that Kamoli has seized an unknown number of weapons from state armouries in order to prepare for offensive and defensive operations.

Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao says Kamoli has refused to vacate military offices after he was sacked by Prime Minister Tom Thabane.

Thabane reportedly asked Kamoli to relinquish his command a week ago but within a few hours of that order, the military had attacked most police stations and his successor's house, causing Thabane to flee to South Africa.

Although Thabane returned to Lesotho on Wednesday under heavy police guard, more than 150 government officials remain in hiding.