Peru interior minister resigns following political crisis

Peru's Interior Minister Carlos Basombrio attends a news conference to show cocaine seized during an operation, at the Peruvian police headquarters in Lima, Peru July 11, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo/Files

LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian Interior Minister Carlos Basombrio said President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski accepted his resignation on Friday after a political crisis engulfing the government nearly toppled the head of state over unproven graft allegations.

Basombrio made the announcement on Twitter without giving a reason. Kuczynski had confirmed in a televised interview on Sunday that Basombrio tried to resign last week but the president hoped he could persuade him to stay.

Kuczynski thwarted a bid in Congress late Thursday to force him out, with the help of opposition lawmakers who want Kuczynski to pardon imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori, who has served 12 years of a 25-year sentence for graft and human rights crimes.

(Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)