Bamako: Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has been shifted to the hospital, unconscious, after mobs of protesters broke into the presidential palace and beat him on Monday (today), media reported.
According to reports the protesters were supporters of the military junta that has taken control of Mali since a March 22 coup. Protesters at the scene voiced support for the military junta, but not with the interim president chosen by the junta.
Military spokesman Bakary Mariko told Reuters that the protesters broke into the presidential palace and assaulted acting President Traore.
“They beat him seriously and tore his clothes,” Mr. Mariko said. “This is a spontaneous crowd. There were three dead and some injured by gunshot amongst the demonstrators. Dioncounda’s security shot at people.”
The injury of President Traore could complicate a deal worked out over the weekend between West African leaders and the head of the military junta, Capt. Amadou Sanogo, who named Mr. Traore interim president until elections can be held.
The West African bloc, ECOWAS, which led the negotiations, has raised the possibility of military intervention, and has already approved 1,500 troops to restore order in Bamako and contain an ethnic rebellion in Mali’s north that has effectively carved out a Tuareg-majority independent country by force.