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Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sacked the head of Brazil’s military Saturday over his alleged involvement in the Jan. 8 riots, when supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s main government buildings in the capital, the Washington Post reported.

The removal of General Júlio Cesar de Arruda comes as Brazil’s judicial authorities continue to investigate the alleged dereliction of duty and possible collusion with rioters by the military and security forces.

Arruda had initially refused an order by senior government officials to detain rioters and Bolsonaro supporters sheltering near army headquarters following the protests. The general later relented.

Another reason cited for Arruda’s dismissal was his refusal to fire Colonel Mauro Cid, a former senior Bolsonaro aide and the commander of an army battalion in the city of Goiânia.

Tensions between the military and Lula’s administration have increased following Jan. 8, which saw thousands of protesters storming the Three Powers Plaza – it hosts the Presidential Palace, the Supreme Court and Congress – over the results of the Oct. 30 presidential runoff.

Leftist Lula won against Bolsonaro, the conservative incumbent, by a thin margin. As a result, many of the former leader’s supporters rejected the results and urged the military to take over.

Analysts warned that Arruda’s removal could exacerbate the poor relationship between the leftist president and the security forces: Many Brazilians believe the military and police harbor sympathies for Bolsonaro.

At least 40 rank-and-file soldiers of the military who were involved in security at the Presidential Palace on Jan. 8 have already been fired or forced to retire by the administration.

Meanwhile, Brazilian authorities have launched a probe over Bolsonaro’s involvement in the riots. Bolsonaro – who is currently residing in Florida – has rejected any links to the rioters and condemned the violence.

Even so, the conservative leader never publicly conceded his loss and called the results unfair. He had previously questioned the legitimacy of Brazil’s electoral system amid allegations of fraud.

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