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By Lisandra Paraguassu

Brazil's Lula replaces army commander- source

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a meeting with trade union representatives at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil January 18, 2023. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva fired the army commander, General Julio Cesar de Arruda, on Saturday, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

The firing of Arruda, who had been commander since Dec. 28, was reported earlier on Saturday by Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo and TV network Globonews. His replacement will be General Tomas Miguel Ribeiro Paiva, army commander of the southeast, the source said.

Brazil's army and the Ministry of Defense did not immediately comment on the matter.

Lula said this week that intelligence services failed on Jan. 8, when government buildings in Brasilia were stormed by supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro.

Previously, Lula said he suspected collusion by "people in the armed forces" in the insurrection, during which several thousand Bolsonaro supporters invaded and ransacked the Congress building, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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