Mali probes officers over counter-coup bid

2012-06-01 09:07
Bamako - Malian authorities are investigating several soldiers over attacks on the ex-junta carried out at the end of April by troops loyal to the government ousted a month earlier, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

State Prosecuter Sombe Thera said in a statement the inquiry was looking into the "undermining of internal state security through illegal use of the armed forces, conspiracy, murder, assault and battery, theft and possession of weapons of war".

The procedure is targeting soldiers, including high-ranking officers, who were arrested in the wake of the attacks, as well as those who had fled.

On 30 April and 01 May, paratroopers loyal to ousted leader Amadou Toumani Toure attempted a counter-coup against the junta which had seized power on 22 March. Clashes left more than 20 dead and dozens injured from both camps.

Among the soldiers targeted are head of Toure's military staff General Hamidou Sissoko, and air force pilot Malamine Konare, son of former president Alpha Oumar Konare.

Since the coup plunged the country into a crisis which saw Islamist and Tuarag rebels seize the north, splitting the nation in two, the junta has stepped aside and former speaker Dioncounda Traore is leading a transition.

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