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Twenty-one bodies found in mass grave near Mali capital

Twenty-one bodies, believed to be those of soldiers close to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure, were found overnight Tuesday in a mass grave near the Mali capital Bamako, judicial and security officials told AFP. "We have found 21 bodies, probably of 'red beret' soldiers, in a mass grave in Diago. The bodies were exhumed," a Malian justice ministry official said. The information was confirmed by a security official. sd/lc/ec

Mali defence minister vows to support coup leader's trial

Mali's defence minister vowed Monday he would not pose "any obstacle" to the court case against General Amadou Sanogo, the leader of a March 2012 coup that plunged the country into crisis. Sanogo, a divisive figure in the west African country, was arrested on November 27 and charged along with 15 other people, mostly fellow soldiers from his inner circle, for alleged crimes during the coup and its aftermath.

Mali ex-coup leader grilled over troop abuses

Amadou Sanogo, who led a March 2012 coup in Mali, was detained Wednesday for questioning by a judge investigating alleged abuses committed by his followers. Several dozen Malian soldiers forcibly entered Sanogo's residence in central Bamako, escorted him outside and drove him away, an AFP journalist witnessed. "He was refusing to appear before the judge. So we came to carry out a warrant for his transferral," one of the soldiers told AFP.

Mali coup leader's no-show for court hearing sparks anger

Opponents of a coup that embroiled Mali in months of political turmoil voiced anger Wednesday over the failure of its leader to comply with a court summons over alleged violence involving his men. Amadou Sanogo was ordered in October to answer questions before a judge about "the deaths in the last mutiny against him" at his former headquarters in the central town of Kati, and "all violence in recent times" of which his men have been accused.

Mali arrests dozens after disgruntled soldiers' protest

Around 30 Malian soldiers suspected of involvement in protests that left one wounded earlier this week have been arrested and turned over to paramilitary police, an army spokesman told AFP on Friday. On Monday, dozens of disgruntled soldiers involved in the 2012 coup had fired guns in the air at a protest, wounding and taking hostage a close aide of last year's mutiny leader Amadou Sanogo, according to military sources.

Disgruntled Malian troops fire weapons, kidnap officer

Dozens of disgruntled soldiers involved in Mali's 2012 coup fired guns in the air at a protest on Monday, wounding and taking hostage a close aide of mutiny leader Amadou Sanogo, military sources said. The soldiers, based in the garrison town of Kati, near the capital Bamako, were unhappy at not having been promoted alongside colleagues also involved in ousting the president in March last year.

Keita wins by landslide in Mali presidential vote

Mali announced Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as its new leader on Thursday when the government confirmed the ex-prime minister had won a landslide victory in a presidential poll intended to give a fresh start to the conflict-scarred nation. Figures for Sunday's second-round ballot announced on live television by the interior ministry showed the former prime minister won an overwhelming 77.6 percent of the vote, with his rival Soumaila Cisse trailing on 22.4 percent.

Key facts on Mali

Mali, which holds the second round of its presidential election on Sunday, is a landlocked, impoverished state in west Africa: - GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: Mali, a largely desert country which is crossed by the Niger River, is 1,240,000 square kilometres (478,800 square miles) in area, and is bordered by seven countries. - POPULATION: 14.85 million in 2012 (World Bank). Divided into 20 ethnic groups, including the Bambara, Fulani, Marka, Senufo, Soninke, Tuareg, Songhai, Malinke and Dogon. - CAPITAL: Bamako.

Cisse: Former 'super minister' vying to lead 'Mali of tomorrow'

Admired for his expertise as a software engineer, Mali's former finance minister Soumaila Cisse will turn his analytical mind to rebuilding the conflict-scarred nation if he wins the crunch second round run-off for the presidency. A fierce opponent of the coup of March 22, 2012 that plunged the country into chaos -- inadvertently clearing his path to a run at the leadership -- Cisse urged the people to resist the military junta which overthrew Amadou Toumani Toure.

French soldier dies in Mali road accident

A French soldier died and another was injured in a road accident in Mali, where they were both part of a military offensive that chased Islamists out of the north of the country. Marc Martin-Vallet, 28, was killed on Tuesday when the transport vehicle he was travelling in fell into a ditch, according to the defence ministry. Martin-Vallet, who had been in the west African country for two months, is the seventh French soldier to die since the beginning of the French-led offensive in Mali on January 11. His is the first accidental death.
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