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AFRICA > Mali junta averts countercoup attempt

BAMAKO, Mali - The Associated Press

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Soldiers loyal to coup leader Capt Sanogo defeated a counter-coup. AFP photo

Soldiers loyal to coup leader Capt Sanogo defeated a counter-coup. AFP photo

The soldiers who staged a coup in Mali five weeks ago said early yesterday they had defeated an overnight counter-coup by forces loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure.

Soldiers loyal to coup leader Capt. Amadou Sanogo appeared on state television early yesterday and said the state broadcaster, the airport and a military base remained in their hands after April 30 night’s attempt. But heavy gunfire could still be heard in Bamako yesterday, suggesting that the junta did not yet have total control over the capital.The resurgence of fighting dimmed hopes for a quick return to order in the west African country where political chaos has allowed Tuareg rebels and Islamists to seize swathes of the vast desert north.

The coup leaders, under intense regional and international pressure, have allowed a civilian interim government to take over but have kept making arrests, which witnesses said sparked the latest violence.

May/02/2012

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