Possible Coup Underway In Mali As Unrest Continues

Coup in Mali is possible

Gunfire was heard on Tuesday at an army base outside Mali’s capital Bamako as diplomatic and security sources said a mutiny was under way.

Local residents and security sources said there was gunfire at the army base in Kati, about 15 km (9 miles) outside Bamako, where a mutiny in 2012 led to a coup d’etat.

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“Yes, mutiny. The military has taken up arms,” a security source said.

The scale of the mutiny was not immediately clear. A European diplomat said a relatively small number of members of the National Guard, apparently angered by a pay dispute, had seized a munitions depot but were reported to have since been surrounded by other government troops.

A French military source said discussions were taking place between Mali’s army command and the mutineers.

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A Malian military spokesman confirmed that gunshots were fired at the base in Kati, but said he did not have any further information. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s office could not be reached for comment.

Government ministry buildings were evacuated, a government official said, and gunfire was heard near the prime minister’s office, according to a security source.

The offices of state television ORTM were also evacuated, said Kalifa Naman, a senior ORTM official. There have been no reports of any attack on state TV, which was still broadcasting prerecorded programming.

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