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Mali president goes to France to treat injuries, officials say

Dioncounda Traore, the interim president, was beaten by a mob of protesters who stormed his office earlier this week.

Dioncounda traore mali hospitalized protesters storm officesEnlarge
Mali's interim leader Dioncounda Traore is pictured on May 3, 2012 during the opening of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) talks. Traore was reportedly taken to a hospital after being beaten by protesters and suffering from head injuries on May 21, 2012. (SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Dioncounda Traore, Mali's interim president, who was beaten by a mob of demonstrators earlier this week, has left the country to seek medical treatment in France, an adviser and two French government officials told the Associated Press.

The AP wrote that the 70-year-old's absence, which comes on the heels of a recent coup, leaves a dangerous power vacuum in Mali.

Traore's adviser said he was headed to France for medical tests on his heart. He previously suffered a heart attack. French government officials added he was going to Paris.

More from GlobalPost: Mali president, hospitalized after beating from protesters

Mali's military leaders are facing sanctions after Monday's attack. Reuters reported Traore was wounded and hospitalized after hundreds of protesters stormed his palace, demanding he resign.

The extent of his injuries were unclear but the diplomatic sources said he was due to have checks on his pacemaker, according to Reuters.

AP wrote "reporters saw soldiers wave the protesters inside the presidential compound. Once inside, they beat Traore and he was brought unconscious to a local hospital." Demonstrators were later seen celebrating.

The BBC reported that coup leaders, thought to hold power, wanted Traore to step down, but agreed he could stay a year. Mediators have been working to get the military junta to accept a transition to civilian rule.

Capt Amadou Sanogo, who led the March coup, demanded that Traore be replaced but the regional bloc Ecowas insisted he remain in office.

More on GlobalPost: Mali coup leader Amadou Sanogo to keep former head of state privileges

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120523/mali-president-goes-france-treat-injuries-officials-say