Mali president flees after coup

March 23rd, 2012 - 1:23 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 22 (IANS) A military coup in Mali has forced the country’s President Amadou Toumani Toure to flee, Xinhua reported Thursday.

Rebel soldiers said that they had removed President Toure from power. They said an inclusive government will be formed to organise fresh polls as soon as possible.

Deaths were reported in the raid on the presidential palace.

The White House has called for an immediate restoration of “constitutional rule” in Mali.

“The United States strongly condemns the violence initiated by elements of the armed forces of Mali,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

“We call for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule in Mali, including full civilian authority over the armed forces and respect for the country’s democratic institutions and traditions,” Carney said.

He said Washington welcomes “the strong statements by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States condemning this unconstitutional seizure of power.”

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