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New military heads installed in Paraguay

ASUNCION, Paraguay, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- New commanders were put in place for Paraguay's army, air force and navy, the country's armed forces said a day after talk of a military coup swirled.

Paraguay President Fernando Lugo, who ordered the shake-up, did not attend Thursday's ceremony in Asuncion and his office did not initially announce the new military appointments. It was the third makeover of Paraguay's military leadership since Lugo, a former Catholic bishop, took office last year.

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CNN reported Brig. Gen. Bartolome Ramon Pineda Ortiz was sworn in as head of the army, while Brig. Gen. Hugo Gilberto Aranda Chamorro took over as leader of the air force and Rear Adm. Egberto Emerito Orie Benegas as head of the navy.

Gen. Cibar Benitez retains his post as commander of the armed forces, CNN said.

Benitez used the swearing-in event to confirm plans to implement additional changes in the military's lower ranks. The armed forces commander also dismissed rumors of a possible military coup.

CNN said Lugo also swept aside talk of a military takeover this week, but replaced his military's top leaders the next day.

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