MADRID, Spain -- Right-wing troops seeking to topple Spain's democracy seized Parliament and its 350 deputies in a blaze of gunfire Monday but apparently failed to spark a wider revolt as King Juan Carlos called for loyalty to the elected government.
Simultaneously, a right-wing general in Valencia declared a military takeover, but that effort apparently collapsed, even though the rebels in Parliament refused to surrender to troops loyal to Juan Carlos.
There were no immediate reports of injuries when about 200 paramilitary Civil Guards stormed into the building and took the hostages, including caretaker Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez and his designated successor, Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, together with the entire cabinet.
The rebels, wearing uniforms and carrying automatic weapons, were led by Lt. Col. Antonio Tejero de Molinas, who was sentenced to seven months in prison last year for plotting to kidnap the cabinet.
Brandishing a pistol, the mustachioed Tejero spoke to the deputies from the podium, waving his left arm in the air, while the paramilitary Civil Guards, long considered the most right-wing of Spain's police forces, aimed their rifles out on the Parliament deputies.
Tejero demanded a military government to eradicate Basque terrorism and dissolution of Spain's Western-style Parliament.
Minutes after the king, 43, wearing the uniform of commander in chief of the armed forces, spoke on national television and denounced the seizure of Parliament, the ringleader of the attempted coup began withdrawing tanks, anti-aircraft guns and troops from the streets of his command post in Valencia.
Eyewitnesses said hundreds of troops moved into the compound of the Parliament building an hour later and then withdrew, apparently unable to make their way in.
The rebels, holding the entire Parliament and cabinet at gunpoint, reportedly refused to surrender to the loyal troops.
Tejero told a right-wing journalist allowed into the Parliament that an army negotiator, Gen. Alfonso Armada, deputy chief of staff, had offered him a plane to fly out of Spain.
He said he refused the offer 'because planes make me dizzy.'
The hostages, still held at gunpoint, were reported to be calm.
The king's refusal to sanction the use of force and a return to dictatorship appeared to have quashed a revolt by right-wing dissidents, followers of the late dictator Francisco Franco.
The rebels apparently gambled on getting the king's support for a military government to crack down on Basque terorrism.
At least three deputies were released hours after the takeover.
King Juan Carlos, head of state and commander in chief since the death of dictator Francisco Franco in November 1975, issued a statement saying he 'firmly rejected' the attempted coup d'etat, which came as the parliament sought to resolve to a 3-week-old government crisis.
The king later spoke on national television from Madrid's Zarzuela Palace early Tuesday, almost seven hours after the revolt started.
In a two-minute address that indicated the rebellion still had not ended, a worried-looking Juan Carlos said he had ordered civilian and military leaders to 'take the necessary measures to maintain constitutional order.'
He said the joint chiefs of staff were loyal to the democratic government.
The young monarch, the handpicked heir of dictator Francisco Franco, idol of the rebels, said, 'I ask maximum serenity and confidence from everyone ...
'The Crown, the symbol of the permanence and unity of Spain, cannot tolerate any actions by people attempting to disrupt with force the democratic process which Spaniards approved in a referendum.'
The streets of Madrid and Barcelona, Spain's two biggest cities, remained calm as the chiefs of staff of the armed forces met in emergency session in the capital.
With the cabinet imprisoned in the parliament, the king ordered secretaries of state in the provinces to take over the government 'to assure the civilian government of the country in close collaboration with the chiefs of staff.'
In the hectic hours after the storming of parliament, Gen. Jaime Milans del Bosch, military commander of Valencia Province and an outspoken critic of democracy, said he was taking charge of Spain's armed forces.
However, first reports said other military commanders throughout the country were ignoring the rebel general's orders.
Although he said he was 'awaiting orders' from the king, the general unilaterally banned political parties, strikes and meetings of more than four people.
Milans del Bosch, 65, in a statement from Valencia, 200 miles east of Madrid, said he acted to fill a 'power vacuum.'
The general called for the 'the active collaboration of all patriots loving order and peace' and ordered troops to take over public services and enforce a military curfew in the province from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The national EFE news agency said the general ordered troops, tanks and anti-aircraft guns into the streets of Valencia.
Top civil guard leaders met with police outside the parliament building as groups of people gave the Fascist salute and sang the Fascist anthem 'Face to the Sun' as civil guard head, Gen. Aramburu Topete, arrived at the scene.
The civil guards holding the parliament building later released Socialist opposition leader Felipe Gonzalez, Communist leader Santiago Carrillo and Rodriguez Sahagun, president of the minority government party.
Government sources said army units across the nation had been ordered confined to barracks. The Interior Ministry put Spain's 50 civil governors on a 'state of alert.'
The raid on Parliament came as the 350 deputies were in a marathon voting session on a motion to approve Calvo Sotelo as prime minister.
Calvo Sotelo was to replace Suarez, who resigned over criticism of his handling of the government Jan. 29, opening Spain's first leadership crisis under democracy.
Large numbers of police and civil guards surrounded the Parliament building and pointed submachine guns at the main doors.
The attempted coup began at 12:30 p.m. EST when Tejero de Molina led the paramilitary civil guards into the Congress of Deputies.
A journalist who witnessed the takeover said Tejero shouted, 'Nobody move. Everyone on the floor,' and then fired into the air.
Civil guards positioned beside each row of deputies fired submachine guns at the ceiling.
The attackers shoved Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Manuel Gutierrez Mellado to the floor and pointed a pistol at the head of parliamentary President Landelino Lavilla.
The early stage of the takeover was broadcast over national radio.
'A lieutenant colonel of the civil guard is right now walking up to the podium,' the radio's reporter said. 'He is pointing with a pistol.'
'Police and more police are coming in. They have submachine guns and pistols. We can transmit no more because they are pointing at us.'
The radio then began broadcasting classical music, which was later followed by martial music.
An hour after the takeover, secretaries and parliamentary ushers left the building.
They told reporters they had been separated from the deputies and assembled in a side room before being sent home.
The attempted coup followed 10 days of escalating tension in the Franco-created police and armed forces caused by a scandal over the torture death of a Basque guerrilla while in police custody.
Spanish right-wingers,stripped of much of their power when Franco died, feared terrorism, street violence, pornography and democratic debate had ripped apart the unity forced on Spain by the iron-fisted Franco regime.