By Al Jazeera
Malian soldiers have taken up arms and staged an apparent mutiny at a key base in Kati, a town close to the capital, Bamako, sparking fears of a coup.
The developing situation on Tuesday comes amid a weeks-long political crisis that has seen opposition protesters taking to the streets to demand the departure of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, accusing him of allowing the country’s economy to collapse and mishandling a worsening security situation.
There were reports of senior politicians and army officers being held but it was not clear by whom.
Amid the confusion, opposition protesters gathered at a square in Bamako while regional and international powers urged the soldiers to return to the barracks and foreign embassies advised their citizens to stay indoors.
President, PM arrested, mutiny leader says
The AFP news agency, citing a source identified as a leader of the mutiny, said soldiers in Mali have detained President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse.
“We can tell you that the president and the prime minister are under our control,” the leader, who requested anonymity, told AFP.
He added that the pair had been “arrested” at Keita’s residence in the capital Bamako.
The report could not be independently verified.