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Lesotho's king to appoint minister to lead country with PM, deputy away in South Africa

  • Lesotho Military Unrest-1.jpg

    In this Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 photo, army personnel man outside the military headquarters in Maseru, Lesotho. Lesotho's prime minister fled to South Africa in fear for his safety and will now meet with leaders of the region there to seek peace, he said Sunday. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane said there had been an attempt to take over Lesotho, a country of about 2 million people that is surrounded by South Africa. Lesotho's Defense Forces deny any attempt at a coup although they say the military exchanged gunfire and disarmed two police stations in Lesotho's capital, Maseru, on Saturday. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • Lesotho Military Unrest-2.jpg

    In this Sunday Aug. 31, 2014 photo, a vendor sells newspapers headlined "Lesotho in turmoil coup attempt" in Maseru, Lesotho. Lesotho's prime minister fled to South Africa in fear for his safety and will now meet with leaders of the region there to seek peace, he said Sunday. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane said there had been an attempt to take over Lesotho, a country of about 2 million people that is surrounded by South Africa. Lesotho's Defense Forces deny any attempt at a coup although they say the military exchanged gunfire and disarmed two police stations in Lesotho's capital, Maseru, on Saturday. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

The king of Lesotho must fill a power vacuum after the military's actions over the weekend caused the prime minister of the mountainous African country to flee.

King Letsie III is appointing a Cabinet minister to run the country with both the prime minister and deputy prime minister in neighboring South Africa, Foreign Affairs Minister Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa said Monday. It was not immediately clear who was being appointed to run the largely rural nation of about 2 million.

The military disarmed police in the capital Saturday. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane called it a coup attempt but Lesotho Defense Forces say they stepped in after alleging that police were to supply arms for participants in a demonstration.