The military junta in Mali has said it is still in control of key sites in and around the capital Bamako after an attempted counter-coup by troops loyal to the ousted government.
Soldiers went on TV calling for calm after what they said were attacks from obscure forces within Mali supported by elements from abroad.
There was a scramble to leave the city when the fighting began. Witnesses reported heavy weapons fire around the main radio and television centre and the airport.
Another witness claimed to have seen the bodies of two soldiers loyal to the deposed president Amadou Toumani Toure, saying they bore tattoos showing they came from Burkina Faso.
The military took over in March, angry at the government’s handling of Touareg rebels who now effectively control two-thirds of the nation.
The junta promised elections by the end of May, but the overthrow drew widespread international condemnation.
Last week the ECOWAS group of west African nations announced it would send 3,000 troops into Mali to oversee a one-year transition back to democracy, a decision that has angered the military regime.