Coup de tat in Mali

Renegade soldiers have taken over the government in Mali hours after attacking the Presidential palace, the BBC reported moment ago.

Rebel troops are reported to have appeared on Malian state TV to announced take over in the small West African country.

The troops who took over the state radio and television station yesterday also announced a nationwide curfew as well as the suspension of the country’s constitution.

The rebels today again came on air identifying themselves as the “Committee for the Re-establishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State”, the BBC report said.

It also reported that the spokesman for the rebels, identified as Lt Amadou Konare, said they had ended the “incompetent regime” of President Amadou Toumani Toure.

Lt Konare is said to have condemned the “inability” of President Toure’s government to “fight terrorism”, promising that the soldiers would hand over to a democratically elected government.

There has not yet been any reaction from government of President Toure to the announcement.

Heavy gunfire rang out in Bamako throughout Wednesday and armoured vehicles were moved in to protect the presidential palace after soldiers fired indiscriminately into the air at an inspection by the defense minister at a military barrack in Bamako.

The soldiers were reportedly upset with the Bamako’s handling of the Tuareg rebellion in Northern Mali, and are also opposed to talks with the Tuareg rebels.

The BBC reports a member of the Presidential guard as telling AFP that “We are in control of the presidential palace. People are shooting towards us and we are returning fire.”

A presidential election is scheduled to hold in the troubled country in April and the government has refused to postpone it in spite of recent unrest.

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