Renegade soldiers in Mali claim to have seized power and closed the West African country’s borders.
Disgruntled at the failure to put down a separatist rebellion in the north, troops involved in the coup say they will hand power over to a democratically-elected president once the country is ‘reunified and its integrity no longer threatened’.
Earlier in the day, the coup was denied on President Amadou Toumani Toure’s official government Twitter account.
The unrest began at three separate bases in Kita, Koulouba and Gao, as the army of 7,000 tried to obtainbetter equipment to fight the rebels in the north.
Military defectors have formed a group called CNRDR, suspended the constitution and are enforcing a curfew. The group is accusing Toure of leading an ‘incompetent’ regime.
It is unclear where the president is and his palace in the capital Bamako has been looted.
Toure, who himself led a coup in 1991, is due to step down in April.